Poverty and delinquency: A qualitative study on selected juvenile offenders in Malaysia

Shong, Tai Soo and Bakar, Siti Hajar Abu and Islam, M. Rezaul (2019) Poverty and delinquency: A qualitative study on selected juvenile offenders in Malaysia. International Social Work, 62 (2). pp. 965-979. ISSN 0020-8728, DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872818756172.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872818756172


This qualitative case study explored the voices of juvenile offenders in Malaysia who were plagued with poverty, and brought to light their plight. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of poverty on the delinquent character and behavioural development of the children on three major crime-enhancing themes – miserable family conditions, school failure and association with deviant peers – to get a broader view of how poverty could influence their life trajectory. The purposive maximum variation sampling method was used in the selection of six young offenders between the ages of 13 and 17 years from Sekolah Tunas Bakti Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A multiple data collection method that included observation, in-depth case study and document analysis was used for data collection. Results showed that three major crime-enhancing themes due to poverty were strongly related to children’s delinquent character and behavioural development. The knowledge gained from this study will further contribute to understanding the real-life experiences of juvenile offenders, particularly those who are experiencing extreme deprivation, and it is hoped that the insight gained could help in the prevention and control of juvenile delinquent behaviour in Malaysia. © The Author(s) 2018.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Delinquency; deviant peers; juvenile offenders; Malaysia; miserable family conditions; poverty; school failure
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2020 06:37
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2020 06:37
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/23460

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