(I) Heredity Factors
(a) Physical Conditions
There are many diseases which are inherited. T. B., epilepsy etc. are generally inherited. If parents suffer from these diseases, their children also suffer from these diseases they are unable to adjust themselves to the accepted pattern of behaviour.
(b) Intellectual Factors
It is not uncommon to find children of low I.Q., whose parents too have low I.Q. Such children have a weak will and can be taken in very easily.
(c) Temperament Conditions
Unstable temperament of children may be ascribed to unstable temperament of their parents. They are easily provoked and are likely to misbehave.
Some psychologists hold that criminal parents produce delinquent children. They quote some studies based on various famous notorious families.
There is a classic example of the Juke families the ancestors of the family were notorious, hence most of the offspring happened to the delinquents, criminals and maladjusted.
But recent research shows that delinquency is not an inherited trait although emotional traits and set-up are inherited to some extent. But how those emotions are to be trained and exploited depends upon environment and education.
(II) Environmental Factors
Among the environmental causes we may discuss:
(i) Home Environment.
(ii) School Environment.
1. The Rejected Child
The unwanted and the neglected child do not grow as a normal child. A child robbed of all love, sympathy; affection and appreciation always find him insecure and may develop hatred for the family and even for the society.
2. Defective Discipline
Too strict or too lenient parents having different standards of discipline have an unhealthy influence on their children. Overprotection of the child reduces his ability to meet the hard tasks of life. On the other hand, a rigid discipline deprives the child of independent thinking and may develop in him revolting tendencies.
3. Vicious Home Atmosphere
Constant quarrels between the father and the mother and hostile attitude of the step-parents have unhealthy effects on the life of the child. There is every livelihood of the child becoming immoral if one is immoral at home; criminal parents are likely to produce criminal children.
All these factors hinder the natural development of the child. Shortage of accommodation and the sexual indulgence of the parents in the presence of young children lead to unhealthy sex practice.
If the school discipline is too strict and if it is undemocratic, children will develop an inward aversion for the school. The defective methods of teaching, unsympathetic attitude of the teachers, lack of security, lack of recreational facilities, defective time table, defective curriculum etc., may develop hatred for the school.
(III) Insecurity at School
He feels insecurity due to many reasons. The child tries other avenues for self-expression and these may lead him to form delinquent behaviour
Lack of Aptitude
A child may not acquire the ability to learn a particular subject. His performance in it may remain poor. He may lose his interest in it fully. Teacher will punish him for not doing home task in the subject and he may become maladjusted in school environment due to his incapacities.
Remedies for Behavioral Problems
1. Pupil-Teacher Contact
The modern educator believes in the victim “prevention is better than cure”. As the child enters the school he should be observed closely and if any sign of delinquency is detected, it should be checked very promptly.
The teacher should always be mentally alert to develop mental alertness in the pupils. He should be sympathetic, pains-taking, appreciative and trusting.
He should study the child carefully in and outside the school. He should try to learn him thoroughly. He should try to find out his home conditions as thoroughly as possible. This child must have the feeling that the teacher is interested in his welfare.
The teacher should be impartial and unprejudiced. He should try to develop in him a strong self-regarding sentiment.
The teacher should always remember that every child has his own problems and every problem should be tackled from the point of view of each individual. The teacher should be just and fair in this treatment.
2. Congenial Home and School Environment
Mental disorders are created due to unfavorable home and school environments. If the child has become delinquent due to uncongenial me conditions, the teacher should guide the parents to adopt suitable Methods of upbringing.
Growth of the child’s home environment cannot be improved, he may be shifted to a school having hostel sometimes the environment of the locality in which the suited is not congenial. The guidance counselor in that case should suggest the parents of the child to shift their residence,
The child must be saved from the unhealthy influence of his companions in or outside the school.
If it is felt that the atmosphere of a particular school is not conductive the proper growth of the child, it is always desirable to withdraw the child from such school and put him in some other school.
3. Freedom and Self-Discipline
There are two great enemies of mental health; (a) Feeling of insecurity, and (b) feeling of inferiority. These two demons can be killed by knowledge of mental hygiene. Unnecessary rules and regulations greatly upset the mental equilibrium of the child.
A child, who is given an atmosphere of freedom, develops initiative, courage, satisfaction and confidence. There is mental retardation due to severe punishment. Our philosophy of discipline must undergo a drastic change.
The teacher should not be regarded as a policeman by the child. Hobbes writes, “The fool cannot be mended by flogging and he who flogs is the greatest fool.”
4. Intellectual and Social Life of the School
(a) Pupils must be given ample scope for self-expression. The class should not be teacher-monopolised. Children must be provided opportunities to think and act independently.
Methods of teaching should be adopted according to the individual needs of children. Activity methods e.g. Play way, Project method, Dalton Plan etc., should be encouraged. Audio-visual aids develop interest in the lesson. Weak pupils must be given individual attention;
(b) Creative activities must be introduced in school.
They help to provide outlets for the increased fund of energy in children. These activities are very much helpful in sublimating instincts,
(c) Students must be taught how to use leisure hours most profitably and satisfyingly. Recreational activities would be very helpful;
(d) The child should never be given an idea that he is a misfit, worthless and good-for-nothing. If the child fails repeatedly, he is haunted by such feelings. Our approach to promotions and non- promotions requires a radical change. The system should not be too much examination ridden.
5. Medical Examination
Children should be frequently medically examined and remedial measures should be adopted to safeguard the health of the child. Sometimes mental disorders are created due to defective physique.
6. Special Institutions
Some of the delinquent’s will require special treatment. They should be sent to child guidance clinical. A great care should be taken in such cases that the child does not lose his self-respect and not mix-up with hardened delinquents.
The parents have a special responsibility and under all circumstances their attitude should be of sympathy and not of hatred. In every town there should be welfare councils to guide the parents and the teachers about the handling of such children.