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Evaluating the possible motivations behind teenage theft

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2022 | Criminal Law

The teenage years of life is a time in which many youths may encounter a variety of emotions, and their experiences during this period could have a significant impact on their futures. It may not be uncommon for your child to encounter various challenges during this stage, some of which could be invaluable life lessons. 

However, there is a difference between decisions that help your child learn and grow, and choices that could have a detrimental effect on his or her future. Knowing what might influence your child to commit acts such as teenage theft may prove essential to helping stave off similar issues or understanding what to do should the unimaginable occur. 

Teenage influence 

Youths in Indiana may encounter various forms of influence during the teenage years, and some types of motivation could promote decisions that might not align with your child’s interests. Some of the most common motivations behind acts such as teenage theft might include: 

  • Peer pressure:  Peer pressure is one of the most prevalent forms of motivation for teenagers, and teens may feel that adhering to similar types of influence may be the best way to fit in with the crowd. 
  • Out of want:  Youths who see an item in the store that they want but cannot afford to buy or are unable to purchase may feel that stealing the item is the only way to fulfill their needs. 
  • Acting out:  Teenagers who encounter high levels of conflict or stress may also be susceptible to acting out, and they might feel that unlawful behavior may be the only way to get the attention they need. 
  • The thrill:  Studies also suggest that teenagers may be inclined to exhibit unlawful behavior simply for the rush or thrill the act provides. 

Studies indicate that teenagers may simply fail to grasp the gravity of their choices, and they might feel that with something as simple as shoplifting, no one will get hurt in the process. 

Your child’s future 

While knowing the motivations behind teenage theft may help you better prepare to discuss the topic, it might not always be possible to prevent your child from exhibiting youthful indiscretion. If your child is facing similar legal concerns, you might worry about how the outcome of the situation might affect his or her future. Fortunately, this isn’t something you must face alone, and seeking guidance on your rights and options may help you better prepare to take the necessary steps to protect your child’s future interests.