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Adolescence is a difficult stage in the growth process. It is a time in life when the transition from childhood to adulthood takes place. The period during adolescence is the most common time for an individual to commit criminal acts. What makes a child who will soon be an adult take the path toward delinquency? Erik Erikson describes the stage of ego identity vs. role diffusion. This is the struggle of having a firm sense of identity and the sense of personal uncertainty. I believe that every adolescent must go through this stage.

Deviant behavior is to be expected out of a teenager. Teenagers can be mischievous and feel the need to experiment with things they know they shouldn't be doing. After all, drinking alcohol isn't as fun or seems as big of a deal as it did when you were underage. The term deviant refers to behavior that defies social norms that is also considered negative.

Our textbook says that a delinquent is a "juvenile who has been adjudicated by a judicial officer of a juvenile court as having committed a delinquent act." Basically, a delinquent is an individual between certain ages who has committed a crime. The juvenile and adult court have different languages to describe different procedures. I believe a delinquent act is actually a criminal act. However, it is best not to use the same language in both juvenile and adult cases. If the same language is used juveniles would be portrayed as criminals which would defeat the courts purpose of guiding wayward youth to a more positive way of life.

The path from deviancy to delinquency is very gradual. For example, a person who has never experimented with drugs in his or her life does not spontaneously dive into a serious drug like cocaine or...