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Minor offenders cite 'anger' with families: survey

07-25-2011 13:32 BJT

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

BEIJING - A large proportion of juvenile criminals said they were angry with their parents, a nationwide survey revealed on Sunday.

Nearly 41 percent of the minor offenders expressed their discontent with their families in the survey, which was developed in 2010 by the Chinese Society for Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Research, the only NGO in the country specializing in young criminals.

"The children complained about their families mainly because their parents did not understand them and never cared about them," Cao Xuecheng, the secretary-general of the society, told China Daily.

The society conducted the survey in correctional institutions and reform schools in 10 provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Tianjin and Hunan, receiving answers from 966 boys and 239 girls, Cao said.

About 45 percent of those surveyed did not live or communicate with their parents, he said.

Compared with a similar survey in 2004, the number of juvenile delinquents who were the children of migrant workers had increased, according to Cao.

"Insufficient family affection may result in young offenders feeling resentment," he said. "Divorced and migrant parents also had unfavorable influences on their children's development."

Li Meijin, one of China's most renowned criminal psychologists, who often gives speeches to migrant workers, has seen the results of the survey.

"The period before a child turns 10 is very important," she said. "They really need parents' guidance and help, but most adults are busy earning money instead of spending time with their children at home," she said.

Traditionally, Chinese parents believed that providing a good material life was enough and was probably the best way to show their love for their children, Li said. Therefore they kept making money and left their children to the care of the grandparents, neglecting the communication that is vital for youngsters.

"I think parents should take care of children themselves, which may be better for kids' development and will avoid some offenses," she said.

Sang Biao, associate dean of the School of Psychology and Cognitive Science at East China Normal University, also agreed with Li's opinion and said what juveniles need when they meet difficulties is support and help from their parents.

"Those young criminals didn't live with their parents, let alone have communication and supervision," he said, adding that such a situation easily led to behavioral and psychological problems in young people.

Both experts suggested the government should draw up regulations to enable parents to stay with children when they are young, especially in the case of migrant workers.

"I hope the laws can restrain those parents who are keen to make money and enable them to spend more time with their children," Li added.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: China Daily

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