Graduate Degree Type
Criminal Justice (M.S.)
School of Criminal Justice
The following study was conducted to determine the beliefs juvenile justice practitioners (police officers, juvenile probation officers, and youth specialists) have about youth behavior through the lens of Wolfe’s (1998) Entitlement Theory. The four beliefs explored between juvenile justice practitioners are: (1) beliefs about why youth act out, (2) what changes youth behavior, (3) an expectation of youth obedience to authority, and (4) attachment relationships influencing youth behavior. The researcher used a 43-item survey measured with a 5-point Likert scale and open-ended questions that were administered to West Michigan’s juvenile justice practitioners through Qualtrics. Responses were analyzed using an ANOVA with a follow-up post hoc test. Results revealed that there was a statistically significant difference between juvenile justice practitioners’ beliefs about why youth act out, what changes youth behavior, expectations of youth obedience to authority, and attachment relationships influencing youth behavior. Qualitative responses were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results showed that the beliefs juvenile justice practitioners had about youth behavior were shaped by personal and occupational experiences, along with beliefs aligning with all four research questions. Future recommendations suggest for juvenile justice delinquency prevention programs and policies to include relational treatment, also future research may benefit from examining the beliefs juvenile justice practitioners have about youth behavior.
Christenson, Chase S., "A Study on the Beliefs of Juvenile Justice Practitioners on Youth Behavior and Treatment" (2021). Masters Theses. 1027.