Obviously, something is going on in today’s society if more and more children are committing delinquent crimes. Sometimes a researcher has to get to what he or she thinks is the root of the problem to figure out what spawns a certain issue. What provokes a child to become delinquent and what makes the child gravitate so easily towards this lifestyle? This study explores how family life influences juvenile delinquency in Lagos state. It is focused primarily on Lagos State, which is one of the most populous cities in Nigeria and is the commercial nerve centre of the country. Juveniles are more likely to become juvenile delinquents if there is little structure provided for them in their families.
Although there are several influential variables, three main categories on which I will be focusing encompass all of these variables. These categories are family functioning, impact of family disruption, and two-parent versus single parent households. Aspects of family are very crucial to the upbringing of a child and could ultimately lead to delinquent behaviors if the family is not functioning “properly.” Properly is defined as a two parent, violence free and openly communicating household.
According to Wright and Wright (1994), the family is the foundation of human society. Children who are rejected by their parents, who grow up in homes with considerable conflict, or who are inadequately supervised are at the greatest risk of becoming delinquent. Immarigeon (1996) says it best when he states that justice can be better served and young people steered on the right path by involving families in juvenile crime cases. If anything would play a large part in delinquency, it would be a family. Understanding how the family and how the juvenile within the family works get to the core of delinquency.