Administrators have a lot of influence over the nature of youth programs. Because of this, their thinking on the causes of delinquency, the nature of ideal youth programs, and the role of youth workers were tapped. In the past, people in the field of delinquency have been accused of assuming an individual, personal problem or deficiency point of view. This study of administrators in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area suggests that, while some evidence for a more social structural understanding exists, in general the individual problem perspective prevails. An explanation for the persistence of a personal problem perspective is advanced focusing on a critical examination of the interplay among the social status of youth, the function of the juvenile justice system, and the role of administrators in bureaucracies.

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