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When a teen gets arrested and charged with a crime, you often hear people talk about the teen's home life. They may say the teen faced troubling situations at home or did not have much support. Does this really play a role in why young people commit crimes?

It absolutely can. Experts note that it's problematic when teens feel that they cannot really connect with their parents on an emotional level. This could happen for many reasons. Maybe a parent abandons the family, so there's no connection at all. Perhaps the parents are so busy with work that they neglect the children. Perhaps they simply never had a close relationship and do not get along. Every situation looks different.

However, teenagers are still driven to be accepted and to fit in. They want that sense of community. If they cannot get it at home, they will look for it in peer groups.

This can work out well for them if they find a positive peer group, but it means they run the risk of falling in with a peer group that will put negative pressure on them. They may be influenced to commit crimes and take risks they do not want to take. However, since they do not have any strong connections at home, they'll act in ways they know are wrong just to fit in with that group.

Therefore, the teen's home life can drastically influence their choices and the odds that they end up getting charged with a crime. It is important for parents to know what a big role they play and to understand their legal options when a child is facing serious charges.

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