Delinquency as the Failure of Adults and the Village to Exercise Their Moral Strength

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Evaristus Obinyan
Charles O. Ochie
Patrick Ik. Ibe


This paper examines multiple relationships among several concepts to determine common causes to delinquency and to suggest intelligence-based alternative to resolve this public health hazard. Juvenile crime has become a public health hazard because the regularity, brutality and impunity by which juveniles commit their crimes these days is indescribable and their state of mind is “unplaced”. Delinquency may be defined as the behavior consequent to the failure of adults and the village to exercise their moral superiority and integrity to produce behavior that conforms to standards set as norms with some degree of consistency in a society to which legal sanctions are leveled (Obinyan, E. 2011). Adult's moral superiority may be defined as the ability to recognize the differences between acceptable and unacceptable behavior….Adult's moral integrity may be defined as the ability of individual adults to refrain from unacceptable behavior and to communicate to youths through example, conventional acceptable behavior (Obinyan, 2011).
Village moral superiority entails the ability of each group, community or the society at large to establish norms that are consistent with cultural values. Village moral integrity entails the ability of the village as a whole to uphold, reinforce, and consistently demonstrate and communicate the sanctity of these cultural norms. Moral strength, therefore is the combined effect of the village and adult’s moral superiority and integrity (Obinyan). Children and youth social contexts are important contributors of problem behavior (Dishion, Forgatch, VanRyzin, & Winter, 2012; Dodge, 1983). In deviant peer groups, it is common for youth to engage in deviancy training wherein deviant behaviors are reinforced such that discussion of rule-breaking behavior is linked with a positive consequence (e.g., affirmation; Dishion, Spracklen, Andrews, & Patterson, 1996). Youth association with deviant peers is associated with many problematic outcomes (e.g., drug use, violence; Dishion, Eddy, Haas, Li, & Spracklen, 1997; Dision, Capaldi, Spracklen, & Li, 1995; Dishion & Patterson, 2006).
Delinquency results when there is a relative absence of adult and village action, such as lack of moral integrity and respect for societal norms, a breakdown of unofficial social control and adult and the village inability to agree on the definition of what behavior may be regarded as delinquent. This is why delinquency may be seen as a function of the type of relationships between adults and the village, and their perception of and attitude toward delinquency. For a particular person however, the definition of delinquency may depend greatly upon their cultural background and the inability of the adult and the village to properly use their moral superiority and integrity to impact on all members of their communities. In most cases, the relative weakness of adult and village moral strength should account for the delinquent behavior. When delinquent recidivism becomes a problem and a continuation of delinquent behavior is consistent and intensifies, we would expect that the steam or vitality of adult and village moral strength (moral superiority and integrity) has been let out.


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Obinyan, E. ., Ochie, C. O. ., & Ibe , P. I. (2020). Delinquency as the Failure of Adults and the Village to Exercise Their Moral Strength. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 8(10), 518-527.
Author Biographies

Evaristus Obinyan, Middle Georgia State University

Department of Psychology and Criminal Justice

Charles O. Ochie, Albany State University, Albany Ga

Department of Criminal Justice

Patrick Ik. Ibe , Albany State University

Associate Professor


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