A qualitative study of selected juvenile offenders living in Sedwick County Kansas

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Browne, George Ebo
Birzer, Michael L., 1960-

This study details the life stories of three former juvenile delinquents currently living in Sedgwick County, Kansas. The participants who are now adults reported extensive criminality and involvement in the juvenile justice system as juveniles. The study utilizes a qualitative collective case study methodology. A corollary purpose of the study was to determine if findings could be couched in Robert Agnew's (1992) General Strain Theory. Data analysis subsequently revealed six common themes among participants that presented challenges for their desistance from criminality as juveniles. These themes are: (1) lack of parental control, (2) living in a high crime community, (3) experiencing school failure, (4) displaying early signs of delinquency through aggression, (5) substance abuse, (6) and having a desire to obtain money. Moreover, the results suggest that these themes taken in constellation with one another seemed to be salient in their criminality as juveniles. Finally, the results demonstrated several sources of strain in participants' lives at the time of their offending. Therefore, the results of this study in part can be explained by General Strain Theory.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Criminal Justice