Why Teens Turn into Criminals: Finding the Root Causes

With the rate of youth crimes increasing day by day, there has been a lot of debate on youth crime prevention. While there is a consensus on taking measures to save teens from going astray, very little seems to have been done in this regard. The primary reason for this is the confusion about the causes behind youth crimes. Unless those trying to break the trend are clear on what they need to be targeting, success will continue to slip through their hands. If you’re planning on doing you bit for preventing youth crime, then you need to be wary of these five triggers.

Financial Hardship

Committing small crimes is one thing and becoming a full-fledged criminal is another. For a very long time, it was believed that it is the teen’s brain that makes him a criminal, but the scientific studies have proved that it’s not just the brain but also poverty that turns an innocent kid into a hardened criminal. It’s natural for teens to compare themselves with others and when they feel that their friends are richer and financially more stable than them, they ultimately start looking for wrong ways to bridge the gap. Teens usually start off with small crimes like theft to fulfill their daily expenses, but with the passage of time, they keep falling deeper and deeper into the life of crime.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is yet another common reason behind an increase in the rate of juvenile delinquency. The surveys conducted on teen crimes have revealed that teens who are friends with criminals are more likely to end up becoming a criminal themselves. They generally spend most of their time with their friends, so it is quite natural for them to become influenced by the latter. Juvenile delinquency is mostly a team game. Teens prefer committing crimes in the form of groups as it becomes exciting and also decreases their chances of getting caught. This is why it is strongly recommended that you keep an eye on kids’ friends.

Lack of Affection from Family

Teens need your love, affection and care more than anything else. Neglected teens are more prone to become criminals, as the lack of love and affection they feel they deserved from the family, and rightly so, make them angry and violent. They channelize their negative energy in committing crimes.


Bullying is not just a crime itself, but it also gives birth to other crimes. Several studies have proved that teens who bully others have a tendency to become criminals in later stages of their lives. Abusive behavior opens doors for crimes. Teens who show abusive behavior or remain in a company of friends who exhibit abusive behavior end up committing crimes. In some cases, the victims of bullying become criminal just to take revenge from the society.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

There is a reason drugs and alcohol is prohibited for teens. Taking drugs or drinking alcohol as a minor is itself a crime, but it also leads to various other crimes. Drug and alcohol abuse affect the judgment of teens, increasing the probability of committing crimes like theft or vandalism. After getting drunk, their reasoning and judgment gets foggy, leading them to become part of a crime that they never intended to commit in the first place.

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