Pathways Theory Essay

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In what ways does ‘Pathways Theory’ inform your understanding of how young people become involved in, and desist from, offending behaviour? Where possible make reference to your own practice. In this assignment I aim to discuss my understanding of ‘Pathways Theory’, its validity and furthermore the way in which it informs practice in predicting recidivism. Elder et al 2001 (cited in France and Homel, p.298) refers to ‘Pathways Theory’ as theoretical and empirical work in the field of life course studies and the developmental sciences, including developmental psychology, life span sociology and psychology, life history research and studies of the life cycle. I aim to highlight how ‘Pathways Theory’ influences the Youth Justice System coupled with the Scaled approach furthermore my knowledge and understanding of offending behaviour as a Youth Offending Officer within my practice, that of my team. Finally I will conclude by assessing the relevance of ‘Pathways Theory’ within youth justice practice. ‘Pathways Theory’ within the youth justice system is research based on criminogenic need and risk classification analysing children and young people at risk of offending and re-offending and their journeys into and out of crime. This research focuses on risk factors which may contribute to offending behaviour during the transition from childhood to adulthood and identifies why children and young people subjected to equivalent risk factors are more susceptible to a lifestyle of offending and why others are more resilient. James & Prout (1997) (cited in France and Homel, p.297) argues that the complexity of childhood is underrated by general approaches, as it is influenced by historical trends, political processes and social contexts. Pathways research examines fundamental social processes that intervene between risk factors and offence coupled with key influences

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