July 15, 2015

Link Between Peer Pressure and Crime in Teens

Teen boy

*actor portrayal

The incidence of teenage criminal activity is on the rise. Shoplifting, burglary, and other types of theft as well as drug abuse, smoking, and adolescent sexual activity, are all peer-driven behaviors that can ultimately lead to arrest and embarrassment for both teens and their parents.

Why Do So Many Teens Commit Crimes?

A variety of environmental factors can contribute to teen crime. Insecure teens are particularly vulnerable to peer pressure from schoolmates and siblings. The desire to be accepted as part of a group can override parental teachings and even a teen’s own sense of right and wrong. The thrill of not getting caught can be addicting, especially when friends justify their actions as not being a serious crime.

The problem is compounded by poor role models, physical or mental abuse, and other problems at home. Lack of parental supervision, substance abuse, exposure to violent media and the inability to understand the consequences of criminal acts may be underlying factors. Bullying at school can also lead to emotional stress and irresponsible behaviors.

Nevada Juvenile Crime Penalties

Penalties for Nevada teen criminals include jail time, detention, steep fines, community service, probation and mandatory counseling. However, punishment for teen crime goes far beyond humiliation, financial strain, and inconvenience. It can cause emotional scarring that lasts for many years and may even affect a teen’s future academic and career choices.

How Can Parents Prevent Teen Crime?

Combating the influence of peer pressure can be a challenge for any parent, but it is possible to prevent teen crime by providing love and support and being a good role model. The following strategies can help.

Lead by example. Showing consistency in word and deed is essential to gaining a teen’s respect and trust.

Boost and protect your son or daughter’s self-confidence. A confident, secure teen is less likely to cave into peer pressure.

Avoid belittling or mocking speech. Teach teens about the process of making wise choices. Discuss the consequences of illegal activities in a clear and respectful manner.

Spend time listening to what’s on their minds. Ask open-ended questions to encourage sharing.

Minimizing Peer Pressure and Crime in Teens

Get to know a teen’s friends and be familiar with their activities. Educate teens about illegal behaviors. Never assume a teen understands exactly why something is deemed wrong. Explain how criminal activity affects people and why laws are in place to control it. Seek professional assistance before behaviors become dangerous.

The ideal situation is to avoid destructive behavior altogether, but when your child has committed a crime, deal with the situation strictly but calmly. It is important that they know they are still loved. One of the best steps you can take is to hire a criminal lawyer who has experience with juvenile cases.