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American Sociological Association Gets Report on Teenage Delinquency in Israel

Teenage delinquency in Israel occurs at a much higher rate among boys of Oriental background than it does among those of Western origin. This was reported today to the American Sociological Association in a paper presented by Leon Shaskolsky, research assistant in Ohio State University’s department of Sociology.

The joint study by Shaskolsky and Prof. Shlomo Shoham, head of the Institute of Criminology. Bar-Han University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, also indicated that more delinquents came from families recently settled in Israel and that more had fathers who were unskilled workers. The sociologists conducted their study among a group of 100 consecutive referrals from the Tel-Aviv juvenile court and a comparison group of 100 nondelinquent boys each matched for age and from the same school as the delinquent counterpart.

“Of particular importance.” the researchers reported, “were the significant differences in ethnic group membership, length of family residence in Israel, and the occupation of the father. These characteristics are not, of course, unrelated to each other. Of the 100 delinquent cases, half were from the western community, and the other half from the oriental community. The nondelinquent, on the other hand, were nearly four times as often drawn from the western segment of the population, the percentages of oriental and western community subjects in the nondelinquent sample being 79 and 21, respectively.

“Similarly, the nondelinquent cases, to a much greater extent, represented the ‘older settler’ segment of the Israeli population. Some 60 percent of the nondelinquent, as against only 43 percent of the delinquent cases, came from families which had settled in Israel prior to 1948. Finally, the fathers of 19 percent of the nondelinquent, but of 51 percent of delinquents, were unskilled workers.

“Thus, the delinquents, or at least their families, were more recent immigrants, more often from underdeveloped communities in Asia and North Africa, and very often of low occupational skill.”

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