Forensic Psychology - Turning to crime

Turning to crime

 - Upbringing

  • Farrington - Disrupted Families
  • Sutherland - Learning from others
  • Wikstrom & Tafel - Disadvan neighbourhoods

- Cognition

  • Yochelson & Samenow - Criminal thinking patterns
  • Kohlberg - Moral development
  • Gudjohnsson & Bownes  - Scoial cognition

- Biology

  • Raine A - Brain dysfunction
  • Brunner - Genes & serotonin
  • Daly & Wilson - Gender - life expectancy
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  • Created by: SarahD95
  • Created on: 09-05-14 18:26

Farrington 1994 - Delinquent Development

Aim: document start, duration & end of offending behaviour from children to adulthood in families. Investiugate the influences of life events and family background. Identify the risk factors predicting offending and antisocial behaviour

Method/Design: longitudinal iunterviews

Participants: 411 boys aged 8-9, six state scholls in london, white working class, 365 were interviewed, at aged 48: 394 still alive

Procedure: Interviews at school - 8-14, Research office - 16-21, Home - 25-48 

Findings: 40% - 161 had convictions aged 48, boys who started criminal careers at 10-13 nearly all reconvicted at least once, 7% were chronic offenders & shared common childhood characteristics

Conclusions: Early prevention programmes (u10) could have wide ranging benefits in reducing problems. Offenders tend to be deviant in many ares of their lives. The most important risk factors for criminality in the family are: poverty, impulsiveness, poor upbringign and poor performance in school

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Sutherland (1939) - Learning from others

Theory of differential association - 9 principles for why individuals behave criminally

2. Criminal behaviour is learnt

5. Groups of people may see certain laws as pointless (think they can fault/break them)

6. Individuals become criminals due to repeated contactss with criminal activity

9. While criminal behaviour is an expression of general needs an dvalues, it is not explained by those general needs and values

Summary: Sutherland's theory is based on two core asuumptions, deviance - people define a certain situatuation as approtiate for violating social norms/laws, definitions - of the situation are accquired through an individuals history/past experience

Conclusion: Sutherland agues that we condider to be normative, behaviour is learnt from others. 

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Wikatom & Tafel - Poverty and disadvantaged neighb

Aim: to what extent does poverty and social disadvantaged neighbourhood contribute to criminal bahviour

Method: intervire & data collection Design: cross sectional study

Participants: 2000 14-15yo pupils (approx 92% responded to Q)
Test poverty disadvantage sustance abuse and predicy what factors would influence affending

Findings: 44% of males & 30% of females committed at least one of the studied crimes
10% of males and 4% of females had committed a serious crime
High frequency offenders tend to commit a wide range of different crimes and are more often drunk/use drugs than other youths

Conclusion: the most imortant factor was the students individual characteristics and the way they live their lives e.g. level of self control and morality

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Yochelson and Samenow - Inside the criminal mind

Aim: to investigate whether thinking patterns exist beween criminals

Method/Design: interviews with freudian therapist (Y&S)

Participants: 255m, various backgrounds, equal number of criminaks who were confinedto the hospital and criminals who werent confined

Results: most of 255ps dropped out, 30 completed the programmes, 9 changed their behaviour

They argued taht criminals think differently from non criminals, in particular the cognitions are:

-lack of empathy
-felt no ibligation to others

Conclusion: 52 thinking 'errors' were found in the criminal personality, which fall into 3 groups:
1. Crime related thinking errors
2. Automatic thinking errors
3. Criminal thinking patterns

However there was no control group of non-criminals to compare results.

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Kohlberg - Moral development and crime

Aim: find evidence in support of a progression through stages of moral development

Method/Design: 2hr long interviews,  longitudinal, (followed up 3 yearly intervals until 30-36)

Participants: 58 boys from Chicago, work adn middle clas, aged 7-16

Results: Kohlberg has 3 main levels of moral development, 2 stages at each level.
Younger children inevitably are at a pre-moral stage (level1/2)
Older children were at stages 3 and 4

Conclusion: there does seem to be support across cultures

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Gudjohnsson & Bownes - Social cognition

Aim: exmaine relationship between type of offender and the attribution offenerder make about their criminal act

Method/Design: self-report using Gudjohnsson & Sign 42 item 'Blame attribution inventory' (GBAI)

Participants: 80 criminals serving sentences, North Ireland
G1 - 20 committed violent offenders (homicide, grievous bodily harm)
G2 - 40 sexual offenders (rapsits, peadophiles, sexual assault)  
G3 - 20 property offenders (theft, burglary)

Results: most guilty - sexual offenders, were more likely to make internal attribution,
followed by those who committed violent acts against a person - as likely to make internal or external attributions to their behvaiour.
least guilty - property offenders, had slightly more mental elemant/niternal attribution than external ones. 

Conclusion: there is a strong consistency in the way offenders attribute blame for their crimes

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Raine A - Brain dysfunction

Aim: to understand antisocial and aggressive behaviour in children with a biological focus

Method/Design: review article, looking at brain imaging studies and reporting, how they relates to antisocial behaviour in children

Results: low resting heart rate is an indicator of someone who will seeks excitement to raise their arousal level creating fearless temperament

Birth complications, poorparenting and physical abuse all lead to aggressive behaviour in children

Concluion: early intervention could be an effective was of preventing antisocial behaviour

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Brunner - Genes and serotonin

Aim: explain behaviour of males in a larger Netherland family, males affected by syndrome of borderline mental retardation & abnormal violent behaviour (impulsive aggression, arson, attempted ****, exhibitionism)

Method/Design: quasi exp

Participants: 5 affected males (low IQ) of the family

Results: disturbed mono-amine metabolism associated with a deficit of the enzym (MAOA). In each of the 5 males a poitn mutation was identified in the X chromosome of genes.

Conclusion: MAOA is involved in a serotonin metabolism. Brunner concluded taht the MAOA deficiency in the family was associated with recognisable behaviour taht accounted for their ability to regulate their aggression

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Daly and Wilson - Gender

Aim: find out if homicide rates would vary as a result of local life expectancy in Chiacago (77 communities)

Method/Design: correlation study using survey data from police records, schools & local demographic records. Local average life expectancies, ranging from 56-77 were coml=pared to homicied rates in those areas

Results: string neg corelation found between:
- Life expectancy & neighbourhood homicide rates
- School absenteeism & life expectancy
- Truancy rates & life expectancy 

ConclusionMales show more risk taking behaviour to attract attentoin of females,
- Competition between other males,
- D&W question whether men expecting to live their lives in 'short-term horizon' engage in risky behaviour to gain (short-term) gratifaction (rewards)

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