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Delinquency ( Latin delinquere "to offend") is the tendency to cross legal boundaries, that is, to commit a criminal offense.


According to the criminologist Terrie E. Moffitt (* 1955), a distinction must be made between persistent delinquency beginning in childhood and mostly temporary delinquency in young people .

Occasionally a distinction between "delinquency" is done (all age groups, including children) and ( "delinquent are" over 14, as this age starts from the people in Germany and Austria penal law a prosecution may be in mind the police, prosecutors and courts ).

Delinquency as a legal phenomenon should be distinguished from the term deviance, which is also frequently used in the sociological and psychological literature on delinquency and crime . The latter denotes “deviant behavior” in general, including phenomena such as anorexia or bulimia .

See also


  • Goldberg, B. / Trenczek, T .: Youth and Delinquency; in: AKKrimSoz (Ed.): Criminology and Social Work; Juventa, Weinheim 2014, 263–281
  • Stefan Weyers: Morality and Delinquency. Moral development and socialization of young offenders . Juventa, Weinheim et al. 2004, ISBN 3-7799-1671-1 (also dissertation at Heidelberg University ).
  • Jochen Wittenberg: Theft crime by young people. A review of the theory of planned behavior using the example of shoplifting . Waxmann, Münster et al. 2009, ISBN 978-3-8309-2067-0 ( Criminology and Criminalsociology 8), (also dissertation at the University of Trier 2008).
  • Monica Budowski, Michael Nollert, Christopher Young (Eds.): Delinquency and punishment. Discourses, Institutions and Structures. Seismo Verlag, Zurich, 2012, ISBN 978-3-03777-115-0 .

Web links

Wiktionary: delinquency  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Montada, L .: Delinquency. In: R. Oerter, L. Montada (Ed.): Developmental Psychology. Beltz, Weinheim 2002, pp. 859-873.
  2. Moffitt. T. E .: Life-course-persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy. In: Psychological Review. Volume 100, 1993, pp. 674-701.