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Since its inception in the late nineteenth century, the juvenile court has been concerned with the legal problems of children and their families. From the court’s earliest days, it has sought to address child abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquency as social problems that result from familial and community breakdown. Over the decades, researchers from various disciplines have provided varying explanations of how and why family systems break down, why some parents fail to nurture their children, why some physically or sexually abuse their children, and why some children become delinquent.