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Juvenile delinquency and serious antisocial behaviour 

Juvenile delinquency and serious antisocial behaviour
Juvenile delinquency and serious antisocial behaviour

Susan Bailey

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date: 21 May 2022

Juvenile crime and delinquency represent a significant social and public health concern. Both rates of mental disorders and offending are high during adolescence. This chapter reviews prevalence rates of mental disorders in young offenders, screening, and assessment of juveniles, principles of interventions with young offenders before describing principles of forensic mental health, policy and practice, how mental disorders in adolescence can impact on offending and antisocial behaviour, how policy is shaping practice in this field and how mental health practitioners may be involved in meeting mental health needs and undertaking medico-legal assessments Delinquency, conduct problems, and aggression all refer to antisocial behaviours that reflect a failure of the individual to conform his or her behaviour to the expectations of some authority figure, to societalnorms, or to respect the rights of other people. The ‘behaviours’ can range from mild conflicts with authority figures, to major violation of societalnorms, to serious violations of the rights of others. The term ‘delinquency’ implies that the acts could result in conviction, although most do not do so. The term ‘juvenile’ usually applies to the age range, extending from a lower age set by age of criminal responsibility to an upper age when a young person can be dealt with in courts for adult crimes. These ages vary between, and indeed within, countries and are not the same for all offences.

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