Shane has not had anyone to love or care for him since he was a child. He was abused by his own family, and after living home, he has become a street child with no permanent home or care. Shane and other teenagers in a similar predicament choose delinquency and drug abuse. According to the choice theory, the process of choice making is motivated by the availability or the lack of such basic needs as food, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun. These are things, which Shane and homeless teenagers like him do not have. As classical theorists explain, human beings have rational calculators that weight the costs versus benefits of each action and help an individual to choose what will help avoid pain and increase pleasure. The pain of the lack of the basic needs, love, belonging, power and fun motivates these teenagers to make choices of resorting to delinquency and drug use. They choose drugs and crime to block away the pain of the lack. Drugs also increase pleasure and provide temporary good feelings. To ensure that continued pleasure, street teenagers indulge in the continued use of drugs leading to abuse. The free will to choose a lifestyle is the right to any individual, but it is misused by such homeless teenagers since they do not have anyone to guide them on how to make the right choices from childhood. Every human being of the above age is at the social crisis stage, where he or she needs guidance on how to make good choices. The neurological theory can also explain Shane’s choice to use drugs. His brain may be suffering from MBD due to injuries on the brain hemisphere caused by the abusive conditions that he has gone through. MBD causes stress and depression to the victim. This neurological theory emphasizes that stress due to a brain injury causes victims to engage in criminal activities (Siegel & Welsh, 2013, p. 1-30).
Robert’s behavior can be explained using three theories, which are a trauma theory, life course theory, and a selection theory. The first one emphasizes that the loss of a parent, for example, due to a divorce, leads to the loss of attachment. The latter has a damaging effect on the child as he or she grows. The traumatic loss causes extreme stress to the brain of such a child due to the overproduction of flight hormones. Excessive stress hormones accompanied by a high level of stress cause damage to stressors, which occurs unpredictably. It leads to an unpredictable behavior such as violence and crime to be committed by such children. The life course theory explains that children from broken families end up committing criminal and violent acts due to continued traumatic events that occur due to the separation. The theory emphasizes the importance of continued development of a family unit together over time. Such condition leads to the development of a social structure that children often refer to even after leaving home. Parental divorces result into family changes, losses, separation, detachment, lower economic standards, change in rearing methods, and traumas. These stressors cause children living in such families to indulge in a criminal and violent behavior with their peers, especially in search of attachment and a sense of belonging. Lastly, the Robert’s case can be explained using the selection theory, according to which children like Robert commit a crime and engage in violence as a result of factors that have led to their parent’s separation. These include an antisocial behavior, conflict, low family income, family violence and abuse. Children form behavioral patterns based on these actions and turn into criminals later in life. Research has shown that more than 50% of children who have witnessed violence and traumatic separation end up committing crimes and violent acts later in life (Siegel & Welsh, 2013, p. 180).
The family structure plays a huge role in delinquency rates. Ray’s family seems to be large and uncontrolled. Parents are negligent, as they do not supervise their children playing on the streets until late in the night. There is also little or no attachment in the family since Ray who is the youngest hardly spends time with his siblings or parents. He therefore feels rejected and seeks support from his peers on the streets. Ray’s full recovery can be explained through different theories. First, as a child he needed for attachment, which he lacked at home. The introduction of a consistent supervisor has helped him to establish a relationship with an adult, whom he can confide in. It has helped him to develop an emotional strength to control his feelings. Violent acts at school were a result of a weak emotional strength helping a person to control such feelings as anger. Secondly, the structural functionalism theory can also explain the Ray’s full recovery. Ray has developed a social platform that has helped to turn from delinquency completely. Mandatory counseling, probation and tutoring at school with an established socio structure were among the key factors that helped Ray recover. The school socio structure has its own rules, codes of ethics and acceptable behavior. This exposure has changed Ray’s mental outlook and attitude towards school and society at large. He has adapted a proper behavior pattern wired into his brain. It has ensured that he will continue to behave properly even outside school. Success in school and appreciation by his tutor made him behave even better to keep receiving the appreciation (Siegel & Welsh, 2013, p. 180-241).
Scenario 4: Attachment Theory
The attachment theory is one of the main development theories. It explains behavior patterns after separation from loved ones. Attachment is developed early during infancy when a child develops trust in his or her parents or caregivers. In case of danger, the child seeks protection on the part of the latter. The attachment theory emphasizes that it is important for a child to develop dependency, trust and attachment to at least one parent or caregiver for them to be fully developed socially and emotionally. Such development helps an individual to control their feelings and ensures that they do not resort to extreme ways of behavior. Children develop different forms of attachment. Secure attachment is the best one that a child can develop in regard with his or her caregiver. The second form is separation anxiety that occurs when infants are reassured by their caregivers after a separation. Anxious ambivalent attachment is caused by the lack of reassurance, while anxious avoidant attachment is when the child avoids their parents probably due to abuse. Disorganized attachment is the state when a child is separated from its parents and does not have a long-term caregiver to develop any form of attachment to. This theory explains why people who had a stable background with long-term caregivers or parents develop into socially upright and emotionally healthy individuals. This theory also explains the reasons why a majority of children who are homeless or whose parents divorced or gave them up for adoption experience social problems when they grow up. Most of them engage in criminal acts or a violent behavior because they are not fully socially and emotionally developed (Siegel & Welsh, 2013, p. 95-100).