Forensic Psychology

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  • Created by: Tosin
  • Created on: 29-10-13 13:08

Turning to Crime- Upbringing- Disrupted Families

Disrupted family: A family where children have been brought up by just one parent or it is disrupted by one of the parents ( usually the father) leaving the family home

Research has indiciated that delinquents are more likely to come form broken than intact homes

Single parent families& the divorced are more likely to belong to lower socio-economic groups and factors associated with those groups are:


*Poor educational opporutnities 

The amount of conflict within a family home is an important factor when looking at the link between disrupted families & crime

Evidence shows children from broken but harmonious homes are less likely to be delinquent than children brought up in intact homes that are f ull of conflict

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Turning to Crime- Upbringing- Disrupted Families

Farrington- Caimbridge study in delinquent development

Aim: To document the start, duration and end of offending behaviour form childhood to adulthood in families

Design: Longitudinal survey

Participants: 411 boys aged 8-9 from East London, mainly white WC. At age 48 365 of the  394 males still alive were interviewed


 The most important childhood risk factors at age 8-9 for offending later on was:

* family history of criminality             having a daring or risk taking personality

*low school attainment                     * Poverty                    

 poor parenting

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Turning to Crime- Upbringing- Disrupted Families

Risk factor: Factors that make it more likely that criminal behaviour will occur 

The most important risk factor found was family history of criminality

- If pps father or mother had a conviction the probablity of the pp being convicted was nearly twice as high than if they didn't have a parent with a conviciton

*2nd risk factor was personality/ ability factors: low IQ, poor concentration, impulsive behaviour, risk taking personality

- ppl like this are more likely to find themselves in situations that can lead them to crime

*coming from a large family, a family on low income/ living in poverty were risk factors found to increase the probability of offending significantly 

-people will try and get material things they want but can't afford/ are deprived of- lead to theft, armed robbery

discipline, parental conflict, disrupted families ( risk factors related to family life) have an effect on the likelihood to offend but are not as important as family history of criminality 

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Turning to Crime- Upbringing- Disrupted Families

Juby& Farrington 2001 reanalysed all the records and computerised data collected in the Cambridge study to find more on the effect of disrupted families and found that:

* delinquency rates were higher among 75 boys who were living in permanently disrupted families on their 15th bdai compared to boys living in intact families

* 29% of boys from DF were convicted as juveniles compared to 18% of boys from intact families

* Boys that lost their mothers were more likely to be delinquent than boys who lost their fathers

* Disruptions that happened because of parental disharmony were more damaging than ones caused by parental death 

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Turning to Crime- Upbringing- Disrupted Families


* A family history of criminality was found to be the most important risk factor, however DF were also found to be a risk factor of criminality

* Study identified risk factors that can be associated with DF e.g. poverty, low school attainment, poor parenting

- early intervention programmes for under 10yrs coming from DF can play a big part in reducing offending.

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