Trends in Juvenile Delinquency from a Criminal Psychology and Criminology Perspective

doi: 10.32577/mr.2023.1.8


 Juvenile crime has been showing a downward trend for years both in Hungary and internationally. Despite this, many young people are still caught by the authorities. In the study, we use the analysis of Hungarian and international statistical data to see what structural changes have occurred in the structure of crime in the past period. We assume that the – temporarily – punishable deviant behaviour of the child and juvenile population, in the absence of a suitable treatment system, turns from episodic perpetration into a series of acts. We will examine how the social, economic, demographic and legislative background influences juvenile delinquency and which psychological explanations help to understand and manage the path leading to the development of the situation.

It is also important to keep technological changes in mind, since there are an increasing number of juveniles among the perpetrators of cybercrimes. Data quality and statistical diversity also present challenges to researchers, we also try to synthesise these data in the article, which can provide an explanation for why other data can be found in some databases that are not in line with each other. The study partially covers the explanation of the criminological and criminal psychological reasons behind the commission of crime. The performed analysis can contribute to the more efficient functioning of the investigative authority and the welfare system dealing with juveniles, by providing a prismatic overview of the changing trends in this paper.


juvenile delinquency Criminology criminal statistic data interpretation


Agnew, Robert S. (1985): Neutralizing the Impact of Crime. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 12(2), 221–239. Online:

Bellavics, Mária Zs. (2021): A fiatalkorú bűnelkövetők körében leggyakrabban előforduló pszichiátriai kórképek. Hungarian Law Enforcement, 21(2), 97–109. Online:

Bonoli, Giuliano (2007): Time Matters: Postindustrialization, New Social Risks, and Welfare State Adaptation in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Comparative Political Studies, 40(5), 495–520. Online:

Buchanan, Molly – Castro, Erin D. – Kushner, Mackenzie – Krohn, Marvin D. (2020): It’s F**ing Chaos: Covid-19’s Impact on Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 45, 578–600. Online:

Coker, Kendell L. – Smith, Philip H. – Westphal, Alexander – Zonana, Howard V. – McKee, Sherry A. (2014): Crime and Psychiatric Disorders Among Youth in the US Population: An Analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey – Adolescent Supplement. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53(8), 888–898. Online:

Cuevas, Carlos A. – Finkelhor, David – Turner, Heather A. – Ormrod, Richard K. (2007): Juvenile Delinquency and Victimization: A Theoretical Typology. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 22(12), 1581–1602. Online:

Delcea, Cristian – Muller-Fabian, Andrea – Radu, Carmen C. – Perju-Dumbravă, Dan (2019): Juvenile Delinquency within the Forensic Context. Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine, 27(4), 366–372. Online:

Ejrnæs, Anders – Scherg, Rune H. (2022): The Impact of Victimization on Feelings of Unsafety in Different Welfare Regimes. European Journal of Criminology, 19(6), 1304–1326. Online:

Ellis, Lee – Farrington, David P. – Hoskin, Anthony W. (2019): Handbook of Crime Correlates. London – Cambridge, Mass.: Academic Press.

Green, Kerry M. – Musci, Rashelle J. – Johnson, Renee M. – Matson, Pamela A. – Reboussin, Beth A. – Ialongo, Nicholas S. (2016): Outcomes Associated with Adolescent Marijuana and Alcohol Use among Urban Young Adults: A Prospective Study. Addictive Behaviors, 53, 155–160. Online:

Haller, József – Bellavics, Mária Zs. – Baráth, Noémi E. (2020): Kriminálpszichiátria – elméleti háttér és gyakorlati hasznosítás. Hungarian Law Enforcement, 20(3), 119–135. Online:

Harzke, Amy J. – Baillargeon, Jacques – Baillargeon, Gwen – Henry, Judith – Olvera, Rene L. – Torrealday, Ohiana – Penn, Joseph V. – Parikh, Rajendra (2012): Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders in the Texas Juvenile Correctional System. Journal of Correctional Health Care, 18(2), 143–157. Online:

Hockenberry, Sara – Puzzanchera, Charles (2020): Juvenile Court Statistics, 2018. Pittsburgh, PA: National Center of Juvenile Justice.

Hummelsheim, Dina – Hirtenlehner, Helmut – Jackson, Jonathan – Oberwittler, Dietrich (2011): Social Insecurities and Fear of Crime: A Cross-National Study on the Impact of Welfare State Policies on Crime-Related Anxieties. European Sociological Review, 27(3), 327–345. Online:

Janssen, Heleen J. – Bruinsma, Gerben J. – Weerman, Frank M. (2022): Can Inner and Outer Containment Counteract Pulls and Pushes toward Delinquency? A Test of Walter Reckless’s Containment Theory. European Journal of Criminology, 19(6), 1615–1637. Online:

Karofi, Usman A. (2012): Rethinking on Drug Abuse and Crime Relationship: An Alternative Explanation for Intellectuals Criminologists. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 3(16).

Kerezsi, Klára (2020): Trend lesz-e a (jövőben is) a bűnözés csökkenése. Magyar Tudomány, 181(5), 577–590. Online:

Sófi, Gyula (2014): A szakértői tevékenység jogi szabályozása. In Sófi, Gyula – Fodor, Miklós (eds.): Igazságügyi gyermekpszichiátria. Budapest: Oriold és Társai. 21–29.

Shapland, Joanna – Hall, Matthew (2007): What Do We Know about the Effects of Crime on Victims? International Review of Victimology, 14(2), 175–217. Online:

Sherman, Lawrence W. (2013): The Rise of Evidence-Based Policing: Targeting, Testing, and Tracking. Crime and Justice, 42(1), 377–451. Online:

Reimherr, Frederick W. – Rösler, Michael – Marchant, Barrie K. – Gift, Thomas E. – Retz, Wolfgang – Philipp-Wiegmann, Florence – Reimherr, Matthew L. (2020): Types of Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Replication Analysis. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 81(2). Online:

Retz, Wolfgang – Stieglitz, Rolf-Dieter – Corbisiero, Salvatore – Retz-Junginger, Petra – Rösler, Michael (2012): Emotional Dysregulation in Adult ADHD: What Is the Empirical Evidence? Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 12(10), 1241–1251. Online:

Retz, Wolfgang – Ginsberg, Ylva – Turner, Daniel – Barra, Steffen – Retz-Junginger, Petra – Larsson, Henrik – Asherson, Phil (2021): Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Antisociality and Delinquent Behavior Over the Lifespan. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 120, 236–248. Online:

Skirrow, Caroline – Asherson, Philip (2013): Emotional Lability, Comorbidity and Impairment in Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Affective Disorder, 147(1–3), 80–86. Online:

Vári, Vince (2019): Elterelés és az ügyész–nyomozó hatóság kapcsolata a nyomozásban. In III. Turizmus és biztonság nemzetközi konferencia. Tanulmánykötet. Nagykanizsa: Pannon Egyetem Nagykanizsai Campus. 52–61.

Von Polier, Georg G. – Vloet, Timo D. – Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate (2012): ADHD and Delinquency – A Developmental Perspective. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 30(2), 121–139. Online:

Young, Susan – Moss, Debby – Sedgwick, Ottilie – Fridman, Moshe – Hodgkins, Paul (2015): A Meta-analysis of the Prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Incarcerated Populations. Psychological Medicine, 45(2), 247–258. Online:


Letölthető adat még nem áll rendelkezésre.