Based on statistics, nearly one million eighth graders admit getting drunk and another 1.2 million twelfth graders are considered binge drinkers. Heroin use by young adults has doubled from 1991 to 1996 and even teenage compulsive gambling is on the rise (http://www.einstein.edu/e3front.dlldurki=8576, 2004).
Alcohol alone kills 10,000 young adults each year. Drug and alcohol abuse can also lead to other risky behaviours, such as drunk driving, unprotected sex, date rape, suicide and violence (http://www.einstein.edu/e3front.dlldurki=8576, 2004).
These are just some of the facts and figures serving a very good example of deviant or criminal behaviours in the US and the UK. And what is quite alarming is that these criminal behaviours are becoming highly prevalent, bringing more and bigger problems to society. Because of the quite alarming data related to criminal behaviours, it has then become worth noting to understand the significant factors that can lead one person to display criminal tendencies.
Deviance is defined as the recognized violation of cultural norms. One familiar type of deviance is crime, or the violation of norms a society formally enacts into criminal law. Meanwhile, juvenile delinquency is under the sub category of deviance. Deviance encompasses a wide range of other acts of nonconformity, from variations in hairstyles to murder (http://www.geocities.com/tdeddins/deviance.htm, 2004).
The psychological explanations of deviance are concentrated on individual abnormalities involving personality. What is viewed as criminal varies over both time and place. What all crime has in common is that perceived violations bring about response from a formal criminal justice system. According to the statistics given by the FBI, there are actually three types of crimes being committed. First, crimes against the person - or violent crimes - are defined as crimes against people that involve violence or the threat of violence. Examples are murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. Secondly, crimes against property - or property crimes - are defined as crimes that involve theft of property belonging to others. Examples are burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft, and arson. A third category, victimless crimes, is defined, as violations of law in which there are no readily apparent victims. Examples are gambling, prostitution, and the use of illegal drugs (http://www.geocities.com/tdeddins/deviance.htm, 2004).
Theories of Crime in relation to Criminal Tendencies
Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) suggest that the problem with most approaches to crime is that they tend to ignore its characteristics. While not denying the prevalence of serious victimization, "the vast majority of criminal acts are trivial and mundane affairs that result in little loss and less gain". These are events "whose temporal and spatial distributions are highly predictable", typically representing unprotected