Juvenile and Restless

9-November 2009

Back in the days when girls were supposed to be all sugar and spice and everything nice, we were the clueless angst-ridden rebels who thought it’s more fun to defy the norms. Some of us were merely getting back at overly stringent parents, others were just into the identity crisis bandwagon and a few more were just hungry for a sense of belongingness. As for me, I was simply curious.

I wasn’t blaming my parents, teachers, the Catholic church, the school system or the government for my actions. I just really wanted to see what it’s like and how it feels. I just wanted to have a bit of fun.

Unfortunately, like most 14-year old kids, we weren’t very careful. We were impulsive and even boastful… We should have kept our mouth shut and just waited until we were past that juvenile delinquency phase.

Amazingly, it seems that the stigma has persisted amongst our peers even after a decade and a half later. During high school reunions, old classmates would still refer to us as the unruly bunch or the “detention girls” (batang guidance office). They would still look at us like we’re still the same “disturbed” kids. Never mind that some of us have become successful in our chosen careers, have turned out to be good parents or are now leading a much more “peaceful” existence.

But I reckon, I couldn’t really blame them. After all, everyone at some level are guilty of judging others based on impressions, little knowledge and a few bits of memories of their “wonder” years. We were sort of infamous then for our recklessness — that’s how we are remembered.

I have no regrets though. I had a blast and it was good 🙂

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Children often test the limits and boundaries set by their parents and other authority figures. Among adolescents, some rebelliousness and experimentation is common. However, a few children consistently participate in problematic behaviors that negatively affect their family, academic, social, and personal functioning.

About Juvenile Delinquents

Some studies holds that stigmatizing labels generally feed a self-fulfilling prophecy to juveniles, supporting social labeling theory. On the other hand, there are a number of studies and research evidence that says that stigmatizing labels have no effect on juveniles’ behavior; some, although very few, even hold that stigmatizing labels actually reduce delinquent acts. It is a “right and wrong” theory. Social labeling theory really deals with how “society reacts to individuals” and how “individuals react to society.”

Evaluating Labeling Theory of Juvenile Delinquency

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