Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Communications

First Advisor

Michael Castro

Second Advisor

Gary Gardiner

Third Advisor

Thomas Dehner


This project will focus on the study of juvenile delinquency in America and the growing trend of juveniles between the age of 12 and 16 years old who are both the victims and perpetrators of criminal activity. It introduces a program called K.A.R.E., an acronym for Kids At Risk Education which is a proactive approach to addressing the root causes of juvenile delinquency.

Breakdowns in family life, neighborhood environments, socioeconomic, inequities, and peer group's pressures have contributed to this growing trend of youth crimes. Youth violence has become one of the leading causes of death for juveniles in this country.

Juvenile delinquency is addressed by sociologists, psychologists, doctors and the clergy. All have different views on what causes juvenile delinquency. It is clear that the causes of juvenile delinquency involve a combination of many circumstances. The breakdown of the family , severed bonds to society, child abuse, and many other factors which contribute to delinquent behaviors are discussed, here through a review of literature and cases.

Three perspectives dominate this field of study. The first is the social control theory by Travis Hirshi in which a breakdown of socializing bonds in three areas, supervision, overly harsh discipline, and finally parental rejection. Are identified as causes of lack of adequate of value formation. The second perspective by Dr. Popenoe, focuses on the a breakdown of the family . Which allows the child to deviate. The third perspective, which was introduced by Dr. Sandberg, explores the direct correlation between child abuse and juvenile delinquency. This discussion forms the backdrop for the K. A. R. E. program which employs a peer counseling approach along with a parental support academy and professionals within the community such as psychologists, psychiatrists, or doctor's to counsel both children and parents.

The K.A.R.E. program will allow parents and juveniles to reach positive solutions and give them alternatives before they are trapped in a system that does not work. Law enforcement, parents, juveniles and communities must come together to fight for a brighter future- a future where our kids are not afraid, or better yet, we are not afraid of our kids.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License