Child maltreatment and juvenile delinquency are two of the most compelling and perplexing social problems facing the United States in the 1980s. Both meet the criteria proposed by Manis (1974) for classification as “serious” problems: They are prevalent (involving millions of people); they are severe (being implicated in many thousands of injuries and deaths as well as widespread emotional anguish); and they are primary (being intertwined with a host of other problems such as poverty, alienation, stress, and economic dysfunction). The evident seriousness of both problems justifies the current high level of public and professional concern. As we have seen in Chapter 1, adolescent maltreatment is intertwined with issues of social competence and social relationships for the adolescent. In this and the chapter to follow, we explore the dynamic processes that link together destructive family relations and the adolescent’s relations with the world outside the family. Here we discuss the full range of juvenile delinquency. Chapter 3 focuses on the phenomenon of running away from home. In both chapters, we are setting the stage for further, more detailed explorations of troubled youth and troubled families.