Sociologists have over time struggled to formulate various theories in an attempt to explain some of the causative factors regarding juvenile delinquency. This phenomenon has become a major social problem in the modern contemporary society and consequently led to poor behavioral aspects in the current youthful population. Systems theory can be an essential tool in the understanding some of the causative elements resulting in the increasing cases of juvenile delinquency. General system theory is essentially a science involving the study of a whole component through integration of science, natural, and social dynamics (Bertalanffy, 1968).
The Contribution of Systems Theory towards Understanding of Juvenile Delinquency
The fact that juvenile delinquency is essentially a social related problem, this applies that the societal component forms a major part of in discerning some of its causative elements. “The use of society as a concept is acceptable only when it is explicitly stated that it is a completely verbal one, a dynamic happening or a process. Society cannot exist by itself. It requires interacting individuals to support its existence” (Mulligan, 1960). While taking these facts into consideration one tends to establish the fact that juvenile delinquency potentially results from the aspects of interaction among different individuals.
In the development of a system, communication forms a key element in enabling some of the key components, in this case individuals to interact sufficiently with each other. The major aim of communication is mainly to impart particular information to the desired group of individuals. Various ways can be used to measure the impact of conveyed information to the receiving party. Ordinarily, decisions would be used to measure information (Bertalanffy, 1968). The older victims of juvenile delinquency will naturally influence some of the behavioral elements of the younger members of society. As time progresses the younger minds take up some of the non desirable behavioral traits leading to the emancipation of the feedback mechanism. Homeostasis is phenomenon associated with biological phenomena as it maintains their balance of existence in what is christened as the feedback model (Bertalanffy). This is essentially a response mechanism in which the involved individuals lead to a positive feedback occurrence.
“A system can be defined as a set of elements standing in interrelation among themselves and with the environment” (Bertalanffy, 1968). In this kind of a setting the developing youth interact with various elements of their surroundings. This includes both animate and inanimate contact. Inanimate components of the surrounding may include factors such as media or drug substances. These provide a contributory effect that propels the emancipation of the final observed behavioral elements in the form of juvenile delinquency.
In a system, there is the element of theoretical reorientation provided in the form of a stimulus-response scheme that manifests as behavior through relaxation of tensions, needs gratification, reestablishment of homeostatic equilibrium, and the subsequent utilitarian interpretations resulting from the psychosocial approach (Bertalanffy, 1968). Consider an ordinary growing up in a positive environment devoid of bad influences. If this particular teen was to be slowly introduced into a different school setting associated with negative behavioral factors, then he or she would progressively adopt the new system traits. The subsequent manifestation of negative behavior in the teen shows a positive response to the new stimulus. This serves to negate the notion that man passively responds to behavioral stimulus since he or she actively interacts with the system components of his surrounding resulting in the creation of a new virtual existence, which in this case is juvenile delinquency.
The society of humans has led to the development of numerous explanations of criminal causation (Martin, 2005). Developing a deep understanding of the variable that come into play during interaction of system components of which man is inclusive would lead to positive identification of causative factors leading to juvenile delinquency.