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2 Juv. Ct. Judges J. 32 (1950-1951)
Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency

handle is hein.journals/juvfc2 and id is 102 raw text is: The Journal

nraveling J   enile M-linf1uency
Explot ?uf the Mysteries of It-'uen R(ehav'ios

By Sheldon and Eleanor Glueek
New York: Commonwealth
Fund'. 1959. 5.00.
Pages x, 399.
Juvenhte court judges are ever
searching and hoping for a formula
to help then recognie the probable
futute           ,iimina  and separate him
from the casti- or accidental vietira
of e'r,-saner .,}o may appear be
fore theinfor tI  Krst ine foe juve
nile delinquey.
UNRA VEEING JUVE/NILE DI N-
QUENCY, the latr  .ttudy by the vet
eran researchers into human behavior,
Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck, is not
the repository of all wisdom on that
secret, but it does point to avenues
of observation and study which in
competent hands may develop reason-
ably dependable methods of making
predictions.
Object Of Research
The Giueeks undertook a coura-
geous job--a job for which lesser
practitioners would neither have the
patience nor public confidence to ob-
tain the necessary financing for the
ten year study. They produced a re-
sull w!hich, in their own language
represents the first analysis of the
data of the causal mechanisms of
peisistent delinquency--which vith
-- Further reflection, particularly ex-
aminatio n of more intimate intercor-
relations of the constituents of the
various levels of exploration, will
very probably bring about deeper in-
sights and some modifications of
present conclusions.
Control Groups
For their field of operations the
authors selected a group of 500 boys
who were committed to correctional
schools, most of whom had court re-
cords  reflecting  persistent delin-
quency, hoping through this to elimi-
nate any question that the delinquents
might be accidental or minor offend-

ers. On the other side they selected
500 boys from   among the general
public school population, who were
known tr be non-dlinquent not only
by absence of official court records
but also by specal investigation of
doubtful situations.
The two groups were matched as
nearly a practicable in respect to
age an ,enera! intelligence (factors
volving only the boys themselves),
but also with reference to ethnic-
racial derivati)on and pointedly, resi-
dence in ind rprivimlged neighbor-
hoods
Judges may question the validity of
the limited grouping, since in most
courts children no longer come from
underprivileged  neighborhoods   or
from any particular e;inic-racial deri-
vation, In delnsc of the decision in
favor of the limited grouping it may
be said that such differences os may
be found to be characteristic of either
group should show up more promi-
nently.
Details of the technique and the
phases of study cannot be described
in this brief review They are clearly
described and, surprising as it may
seem, make interesting reading.
Significaot 'ersonal Findings
Many interesting findings are re-
ported, some confirming the generally
accepted and recognized factors con-
tributing to delinquency, others de-
finitely disproving popular assump-
tions and notions as to characteristics
of the criminal type, as well as other
studies made on a smaller scale or by-
less capable researchers.
The most significant is the finding
that there is no criminal type to be
recognized from outward appearance.
In the field of somatic as well as
psychic aspects the Gluecks find no
evidence of the Lombrosian hypothe-
sis of a born criminal type. Neither
does the view that delinquents are

32

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