Case Study 1: Applying Theory to Practice

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Case Study 1: Applying Theory to Practice

Due Week 4 and worth 130 points

Social scientists have proposed a number of theories to explain juvenile delinquency. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. For this assignment, go to the following Website, located at http://listverse.com/2011/05/14/top-10-young-killers/ and select one of the juvenile case studies.

Eric Smith

January 22, 1980

You may think I’m a threat to the well-being of society. And I can understand why you would feel that way. The fact is that I’m not. I’d be an asset to society.”

At 13, Eric Smith was bullied because of his thick glasses, freckles, long red hair and one other quality: He had protruding, elongated ears. These were believed to be a side effect of medicine his mother had taken for her epilepsy when she was pregnant. Police charged Smith with the murder of a four-year-old boy named Derrick Robie. The younger child had been strangled, had large rocks dropped on his head, and had been sodomized with a small stick. When asked why he did it, Smith cannot give a definite answer. A psychiatrist diagnosed Smith with intermittent explosive disorder, a condition in which a person cannot control inner rage. Smith was convicted and went to prison. As of today, he’s been in prison for six years and has been denied parole five times.

Get a closer look at the disturbed mind of a killer with Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters at Amazon.com!

After reading the case, select one (1) of the psychological theories discussed in Chapter 4 of the text.

Write a two to three (2-3) page paper in which you:

  1. Summarize three (3) key aspects of the juvenile case study that you selected.
  2. Highlight at least three (3) factors that you believe are important for one to understand the origins of the juvenile’s delinquent behavior.
  3. Apply at least two (2) concepts from the theory that you chose from the text that would help explain the juvenile’s behavior.
  4. Identify one (1) appropriate strategy geared toward preventing delinquency that is consistent with the theory you chose.
  5. Use at least three (3) quality references. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • This course requires use of Strayer Writing Standards (SWS). The format is different than other Strayer University courses. Please take a moment to review the SWS documentation for details.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Differentiate between various theoretical explanations for delinquent behavior.
  • Illustrate how social factors such as gender, racial and ethnic background, and social class relate to delinquency.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in juvenile delinquency and justice.
  • Write clearly and concisely about juvenile delinquency and justice using proper writing mechanics.

Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic / organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric found here.

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