Thoughts Behind Action: Recidivism among Children-in-Conflict with the Law




CICL, Recidivism, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis


This study examined the recidivism of Children-in-Conflict with the Law (CICL) using three (3) theories, the Ecological Systems Theory, Labeling Theory, and Differential Association Theory. Utilizing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), children ages 15 years and 1 day but not more than 18 years old with pending cases at law who had previously committed offenses at the Barangay or Prosecutor level in Second Chance Home of Calamba (SCH) were asked utilizing a semi-structured interview. To understand how the theories influenced the persistence of recidivism among CICL, the researcher examined their physical, social, and cultural backgrounds. This study generated eleven (11) superordinate themes which were: Dysfunctional Households; Multifaceted Issues in Early School Leaving; Inconsistent Community Support; Offender Profiling; Perceived Psychological Distress due to Formal Labels; Social Marginalization; Inexistent CICL Segregation; Social Modeling; and Delinquent Peers and Family.
This study aimed to inform policies and practices that may aid in lowering or stopping CICL recidivism by studying how these theories manifest in participants' actual experiences. By identifying the risk factors associated with recidivism, researchers and policymakers may develop personalized prevention programs that address the core causes of delinquency and aid at-risk adolescents. Investigating recidivism among CICL can result in safer communities and better outcomes for young people involved in the criminal system. This study also proposed an enhanced diversion program for CICL who are currently receiving rehabilitation, CICL who are released as minors, and CICL who are released as adults.


Idris, Vol. 17, (Dec)(ISSN 0128-309).

DSWD rehabilitation center paves way for life-changing experience of a former child in conflict with the law | Department of Social Welfare and Development. (2019, June 10).

Elsaesser, C., Kennedy, T. M., & Tredinnick, L. (2020a). The role of relationship proximity to witnessed community violence and youth outcomes. Journal of Community Psychology, 48(2), 562–575.

Ellis, P. (2016). Phenomenological Research: Vol. Volume 12. Wounds UK. ScienceDaily.

Guidelines in the Conduct of Diversion for Children-in-Conflict with the Law. (2008). Department of Social Welfare and Development, Administrative Order No. 7.

Kakonzi Mwangangi, R., & Welch, B. C. (2019). The Role of Family in Dealing with Juvenile Delinquency. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2019, 7, 52-63, ISSN Print: 2327-5952, ISSN Online: 2327-5960.

Kim, D., Lee, J. Y., Cho, S., Peguero, A. A., & Misuraca, J. A. (2019). From bullying victimization to delinquency in South Korean adolescents: Exploring the pathways using a nationally representative sample. Children and Youth Services Review, 98, 305–311.

Kumar, S. (2021a). The Rebirth of Delinquent ‘Adult-Children’: Criminal Capacity, Socio-economic Systems, and the Malleability of Penality of Child Delinquency in India. In Springer eBooks (pp. 107–139).

Lee, J. R. (2017). Contextualizing Informal Labeling Effect on Adolescent Recidivism in South Korea. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62(10), 3117–3134.

Manuel, E. S. (2019, December 29). The Long-Term Effects of Rehabilitation Program for Children in Conflict with the Law.

Nyariki, O. T. (2019). Effects of custodial sentence on recidivism at Shimo La Tewa Prisons in Mombasa County, Kenya.

Nwafor, K. C. (2022, July 3). Negative public perception and reoffending of discharged offenders in Anambra State, Nigeria.

Republic Act No. 9344 | GOVPH. (2006, April 28). Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.

Robert, E. W. (2022). Criminal association and recidivism in selected prisons in Rivers State.

Sadiq, P. H. Q. U. (2021, December 31). Parental acceptance and rejection as determinants of psychological difficulties in male juvenile delinquents.

Skovlund, H., & Larsen, N. H. (2021). Recidivism into Criminal Gangs as a Problem of Social Identity—Some Applications from the Perspective of Pragmatism. British Journal of Social Work, 52(4), 2217–2233.

Surong, R., & Lyngdoh, A. (2020). A study on the causes of juvenile delinquency and its prevention by the community. International Journal of Indian Psychology, 8(4).

Valenty, L. F. (2021). The self-esteem sentence: Evidence for Labeling Theory. University of California Riverside.

Walters, G. (2021). The moderating effect of prosocial peers on the relationships between peer delinquency, neutralization, and violent offending. Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society, VOLUME 22(ISSUE 3), E-ISSN 2332-886X.

Walton, G. M., Okonofua, J. A., Cunningham, K. G., Hurst, D. J., Pinedo, A., Weitz, E., Ospina, J., Tate, H., & Eberhardt, J. L. (2021). Lifting the Bar: A Relationship-Orienting Intervention Reduces Recidivism Among Children Reentering School From Juvenile Detention. Psychological Science, 32(11), 1747–1767.

Ward, S., Williams, J., & Van Ours, J. C. (2021). Delinquency, Arrest and Early School Leaving*. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 83(2), 411–436.


Article Metrics


December 31, 2023

Citation Check



Research Articles

Article Index