Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis takes a deductive approach by formulating and testing hypotheses, derived via theoretical proposition. A history of juvenile delinquency, delinquency intervention and development of the juvenile court is also presented and discussed. Social control theory is the main perspective in this study. Social learning theory is also a relevant perspective in this thesis.

Literature in this thesis indicates delinquent intervention has failed to reduce recidivism throughout history. A more effective form of intervention needs to implemented and examined pertaining to the influence of juvenile delinquency recidivism reduction Cognitive restructuring is a popular form of intervention today, which is assumed to help reduce recidivism.

Specifically, Keys to Innervision’s cognitive restructuring program participants are examined in this thesis. Keys to Innervisions delinquents are compared to a similarly situated group of delinquent youth from the juvenile court in Grand Forks, ND. Keys to Innervisions focus on four factors the literature in this thesis claim to influences delinquency. The factors include self-concept issues, anger management skills, drug and alcohol awareness and goal orientation. As we will see in the literature, evidence fruitfully exists supporting Keys to Innervisions assumption pertaining to these factors influencing delinquency. One unique distinction between Keys to Innervision participants and non-participants is that Keys to Innervisions receive education in all four factors; non-participants usually receive none or one or two at the most. Funds and shortage of staff seem to influence participation.

Pre-existing records of delinquency cases from the North East Judicial Juvenile Court in Grand Forks serve as the primary data source for this study’s retrospective document review. The time frame under analysis is from 1998 thru 200!. Both groups received probation by 1998. Keys participants entered the cognitive restructuring program at one of four possible times depending when each youth was assigned to Keys by the juvenile court. Recidivism rates, in terms of juvenile court reappearance for offenses other than technical probation violation during this time frame are measured and are the basis for comparison of means between two groups. It is hypothesized there is difference of recidivism rates between an experimental and control group.

Overall, this study, by testing four hypotheses by way of tests of significance, statistical significance was determined in three of four tests. Significance is observable for Keys youth who entered Keys to Innervisions at times one, three, and four, not do to chance alone (observable in chapter III). Keys to Innervision juveniles had substantially lower recidivism and reappearance rates than non-Keys youth in three of four comparisons. Youth who entered at time two into Keys displayed no statistical significance of group differences.

Other findings include significant differences in relation to gender of the juveniles, and parental marital status of juvenile’s parents. First of all, male juveniles outnumbered female juveniles overall in the study. Secondly, juveniles living with both had higher court appearance rates than juveniles living with single parents in G.F., ND