In the contemporary world of ours, one of the major problems that the modern society is facing is that of juvenile delinquency. Unfortunately, this problem is the cause of major suffering, damage and anguish to the sufferers, the person responsible for it and society in general. When delinquency is discussed in a broad context, it encompasses a large number of behaviors that can be considered as norm-breaking. Therefore, the adolescents who adopt such damaging behaviors are regarded as criminally responsible for a number of factors including drug use, aggressive felonies against other people and weapon carrying and handling. However, the mentioned are just a few examples of delinquency. The off-putting and harmful psychosocial and monetary consequences of criminal behavior in conjunction with its increasing development have given rise to experts' concerns. This is the reason why the recent info regarding delinquency restates the inevitability of these concerns (Alboukordi, Nazari, Nouri & Sangdeh, 2012). As far as family is concerned, juvenile delinquency is also related with the domestic/household variables including "parental criminality, cruelty, passive or neglectful parenting, erratic or harsh discipline, marital conflict, and poor parental supervision" (Sullivan & Wilson, 1995). It is an undisputed conclusion of researchers about juvenile offenders that their particular behavior is a result of isolation. They are unable to develop and maintain significant relationships with others. They lack friendships in their lives owing to the fact that they are too inhibited and introverted. Their conduct is also affected by the dysfunction of their families. Most often their parents had psychological disorders which affect the ways they are being brought up. Violence by parents or family members is also a vital factor that forces a child or youngster to become timid and withdrawn (Martin & Pruett, 1998).
In the article "Can Early Childhood Intervention Prevent Delinquency? A Real Possibility," the authors have presented a thorough analysis of the risks due to which a child or teenager is propelled towards criminal behavior i.e. delinquency. In addition, the authors have discussed in detail a number of interventions that come into view to make protective shields stronger (Zigler & Styfco, 2001).
To begin with, the first intervention program to have control over juvenile delinquency is the Family Development Research Program at Syracuse University. This program was started with mothers who were adolescent, poor and single and at their pregnancy's third trimester. A majority of them did not have a graduation degree from any high school and had a past in which they were either taken into custody several times or appeared at courts. The Program began by meeting and working with the families once in a week so that strong mother-child relationships could be encouraged and developed. The Program also facilitated the participants in accessing the support services that were direly needed. The Syracuse Children's Center also provided the children a quality child care for a period of four years. The minimum age of the child had to be six months at the start of the Program. This Program intended to give an environmental change at home and also helped parents so that they could support the development of their child in the most efficient manners. As a consequence, the results were a success as there were a less number of children in the probation department of the country (Zigler & Styfco, 2001).
A second intervention program to control criminal behavior in adolescents was also initiated with the name of The Yale Child Welfare Research Program. This program was not majorly for children but for the parents. The idea behind this program was that is stress is relieved from the life of parents to some extent; they would be more energized towards the well-being and development of their children and could rear their child/children in a more appropriate manner. Adolescent female parents were the main participants of this program who were amidst of high-risk environments where they were rearing their offspring. This program continued till the children reach the age of two and had started at the prenatal stages. The Program was aimed to educate parents regarding their role and provide them with practical supports. On the other hand, children were provided pediatric services and child care. The results were really positive as the researchers followed up after ten years. Most important among them was that the participant mothers had been able to acquire more education as compared to the control participants. It was surprisingly a good thing that a majority of families did not depend upon anyone for fulfilling their requirements. Also, the intervention program had an unexpected result whereby it was noted that there were a few children in every family as the mothers had decided to control birth (Zigler & Styfco, 2001).
Thirdly, another intervention program offered a parent-focused intervention i.e. The Houston Parent-Child Development. Home visits were conducted by the paraprofessionals. They also held workshops for the Mexican-American families every weekend so that they could be taught techniques about child management and creating a healthy domestic setting for the family. The Program ran for two years whereby nursery school was attended by the children for one year. The efforts resulted in less aggression in children who attended the program who also demonstrated a less considerate behavior as compared to the control toddlers. The center children also enjoyed a more supportive home environment even after seven to fifteen years after the program ended. A number of other programs including The Nurse Home Visitation Program at the University of Rochester and The Gutelins Child Health Supervision Study have been tremendously effective in making the formal and informal support systems of the family stronger within the society. The former program helped young mothers by giving them care giving methods for improvement. The latter Program offered teenage single mothers with support services thus reducing child abuse and neglect due to poverty (Zigler & Styfco, 2001).
The High/Scope Perry Preschool is the most renowned and effective early intervention program that is known to date even though it was delivered to a small number of children i.e. 58. At the last follow-up, the preschool children were twenty-severs years of age making this program the longest. This program is exceedingly important for the reason that it made broad investigations and addressed direct delinquent consequences for the first time. The results presented strong verifications and link early intervention with reduced wrongdoing, criminal behavior and felony. Research indicates that the discussed intervention program had positive long-term effects and this early involvement also resulted in developing a better relationship between parents and children by emphasizing the role of parents as better socializers of their offspring. In addition, the involvement of parents in the program helped them in creating a healthy home environment as well as effective association with the teachers (Zigler & Styfco, 2001).
However, the birth of the Head Start took over the place of Perry Preschool and is currently acknowledged as the largest and most efficient early intervention program in the country (Zigler & Styfco, 2001). This educational program was aimed to provide support to the disadvantaged preschool children. At its initial stage, the program only supported the children belonging to poor families. The main objective behind the initiation of Head Start was to organize programs in order to get the preschool children prepared for elementary school. In the later years, however, the program was extended and the children who belonged to families above the poverty level were are also included whereby their parents had to pay according to their earnings ("Head Start," 2013).
The delinquency prevention efforts are extremely significant as juvenile delinquency makes the roots of the society hollow and damaged. Social Learning Theory is a useful theory to detect, examine and comprehend the distinctively strange and mysterious behaviors of juvenile offenders. According to the Journal of Consulting and…