The Second Edition of Agnew's popular text is thoroughly updated. The coverage of delinquency theories is expanded, more examples are provided, and a Teaching Aids section appears at the end of each chapter.
The four sections of this text examine:
1. The nature and extent of delinquency. Includes chapters on the nature and origins of the juvenile justice system; the extent of and trends in delinquency, including reasons for the recent decline in delinquency; and the characteristics of delinquents.
2. The major theories of delinquency. Discusses strain, social learning, control, and labeling theories; as well as efforts to use these theories to explain patterns of offending over the life course, why delinquency is more likely in some situations than others, and why some groups and communities have higher rates of delinquency than others (e.g., why males have higher rates of delinquency than females).
3. The major research on the causes of delinquency. Includes research on the relationship between delinquency and biological factors, individual traits, family factors, school experiences, delinquent peer groups and gangs, the mass media, religion, work, drugs, and guns.
4. The efforts of the police, juvenile court, and juvenile correctional agencies to control delinquency. Examines the effectiveness of these agencies, ways to increase their effectiveness, and the extent to which they discriminate against certain groups. Also, examines four general strategies for controlling delinquencythe "get tough" strategies of deterrence and incapacitation, and the strategies of rehabilitation and prevention.