Psychology 101: Why Do Young People Commit Theft?

November 6, 2018 Off By Dennis Rhodes

Parents and older members of the community work hand in hand to become the best role models for the children. They – the kids – are excellent imitators, after all. In case they are often around good Samaritans, they may end up volunteering a lot. Consequently, if these youngsters often hear someone cuss from birth, they think it’s acceptable and may start cursing like a sailor regardless of who they are speaking with now.

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One of the activities that adults can never teach kids – whether consciously or unconsciously – is stealing. The teachers at school and the parents at home tell them that it’s better to ask for something than to take it without permission. Still, many young people get sent to the juvenile detention facilities because of theft.

Psychology experts say that there are a few reasons why they think of stealing instead of enjoying their childhood. Some of them include:

1. Peer Pressure

One of the most typical causes of thieving is the bad influence. For instance, a nerdy child wants to become a part of a little gang of famous students from the school. The latter, however, decided that it would be fun to coax him or her to steal Starbursts at a 7-Eleven store before he or she could join the group. Out of desperation to fit in, the poor kid might do it against their better judgment.

2. Depression

Many young and old children tend to stop following rules when depressed. If you tell them to turn right, they go left. In their head, they are forever doomed; they do not have a future ahead of them. That’s why getting caught or, worse, having a police record for stealing means nothing to them.

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3. Neglect

Some youngsters opt to become a thief as well in hopes of getting the attention of their busy parents. They are likely aware that it is highly unacceptable in the eyes of the law, yet they do so to have their mom or dad stop what they are doing and focus on them. Even if it entails that the store where they stole something might charge them with theft, that is.

4. Loss

Losing something or someone makes some children feel like there is a hole they need to fill in their system. While others do it by finding new friends or picking up a hobby, some falsely believe that they will be okay after managing to steal somewhere. That often results in plenty of repercussions, of course.

5. Kleptomania

Unfortunately, there are a few young people who were born with a type of mania that allows them to commit theft. Although they are aware of how lousy stealing is, they cannot resist the magnetism of getting anything from candy to a pair of shoes without paying for them. Their mental disorder says that it’s fun; hence, it may be difficult to cull this habit.

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6. Poverty

Coming from a low-income family and not being able to buy new stuff is not enough validation for committing theft, that is true. Sadly, some children think that that is the only way for them to have what kids who hail from well-off parents have. They stop thinking about what’s right or wrong at that moment; they merely go for it and hope for the best.

In Conclusion

Becoming a thief is not innate in every human being. Circumstances and, in a few cases, mental health illnesses push people, especially the young ones, to go against the law. Instead of condemning for their actions, though, it is best to discipline them and teach them how to behave well.