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Quinnipiac Law Review

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This Article aims to explain the peculiarity involved in the law's redefining children in two contexts in which such redefinitions seem least felicitous. Toward this effort, Part II, following this introductory section, outlines the developing preference within society and within the law for individualism within American families, especially insofar as adults are concerned. Part III considers the depth of social ambivalence about that preference with regard to understandings of children and childhood. Part IV details and compares concrete legal responses to children in dysfunctional families and to children within the juvenile justice system. Part V focuses on the implications of defining children as autonomous individuals. First, this Part illustrates the phenomenon by describing social images, including media images, of children responsible for serious crimes. This Part then considers some broad social implications of redefining certain children as virtually indistinguishable from adults.