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November 1969

The Delinquency Label: The Epidemiology of Juvenile Delinquency.

Author Affiliations


Am J Dis Child. 1969;118(5):808. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1969.02100040810033

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In The Delinquency Label Dr. Eisner starts with a rather loose definition of delinquency and then applies statistical methods to this social problem. He arrives at some rather interesting conclusions about delinquency and delinquents in the San Francisco area. However, in computing some of his delinquency rates, it is not clear what the total number of delinquent acts committed in each category was. Hence, one wonders if the statistics really justify Dr. Eisner's conclusions.

Greater use of juvenile court social histories and family records might have enriched the basic data used for statistical treatment.

Having read this book several times, I have the feeling that Dr. Eisner has not spent years working and talking with delinquents. Most of his material is "hearsay" and hence "inadmissible" even in a juvenile court today. Nevertheless, this book is a slightly different approach to a very current problem.

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