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Upbringing- Disrupted families.

Poor parenting = increased chance criminal behaviour
Social learning theory- children learn to engage in criminal behaviour (link to family)

Bowlby - 44 theives

44 children (theives) compared to 44 children control group
At clinic: IQ tested, social worker spoke to parent, psychiatrist interveiwed child and parent

17/44 separated from mum for some period before 5
maternal deprivation affected social development producing juvinile delinquency
2- affectionless psychopathy

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Upbringing- Learning from others

Classical conditioning- Pavlov
Social learning theory- Bandura
Operant conditioning- Sanctions

Sutherlands 9 principles

center around:

  • learn from intimate personal groups
  • learn techniques
  • learn crimes acceptable
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Upbringing- Poverty

Poverty is where you don't have enough money - could lead to stealing
But does not always equal crime - rich tax fraud

Mertons strain theory

  • Innovation: Goals + Means -
  • Ritualism: Goal - Means +
  • Retreatsim: Goals - Means -
  • Rebellion: Goals - Means - & seek to replace existing social structure
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Cognition- Criminal Thinking Patterns

Attribution theory:
External attributes - causes of behaviour soical & enviromental factors
Internal attributes- causes of behaviour within themselves

Palmer & Hollin

97 convicted males (arson,assult,burglary) compared to 77 non-offenders
Given short scenarios and asked why the protagnoist acted the way they did:
E.g sitting home watching TV alone. Knock at the door policeman wants to talk. Why are they there?
To be nice? To be mean? Not sure?

Found juvinile delinquents more likely to rate an amigious situation as hostile compare to a non-offender.

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Cognition- Moral Development

Stages of Moral Development: Pre-morality (determined by sanctions), conventional morality (law), post conventional morality (personal ethics)
People offend due to being less morally developed.- children?
Age of responsibility 10


75 boys from USA (also studied taiwan,mexico,turkey)
Presented children with moral dilemmas such as the Heinz Dilemma.

All children regardless of country found to operate at lower levels of morality at a young age.
Providing evidence morality develops with age.
By 10 induvidual has foundations of moral thinking.

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Cognition- Social Cognition

Congition= mental process
Social cognition= peoples understanding of whats going on in social interaction.
Mention labelling theory and self-fufilling prophecy.


Delinquency rates - Ashanti tribes, Western Africa
'Soul Names' for male children on day of week born, believed boys D.O.B affects temperment.
Monday boys thought of as more placid, Wednesday- aggressive

22% of offences commited by wednesday boys
6.9% commited by monday boys

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Biology- Genes & Serotonin

Serotonin- hormone linked to mood. Too little= Depression
Dopamine- linked to reward/ pleasure. (too much could explain ****)
Maoa- enzymes responsible for breaking down dopamine & seretonin
Genetic predisposition possible influence for behaviour


Family in Netherlands.
5 males, violent (arson, ****)
Urine samples

Defect in maoa enzyme carried on x chromosome.
affected ability to break down seretonin and dopamine had low levels of seretonin and high levels of dopamine which could be the cause of criminal behaviour.

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Biology- Brain Dysfunction

Affects our behaviour eg. prefrontal cortex- social inhibitor, tells you whats right/wrong, linked to loss of self control,
Phineas Gage- pole through frontal lobe, brain damage. Altered personality - rude & aggressive. 


41 murder pleading insanity-reasons: head trauma, schizophrenia, non murder control group. 
PET scans

Less activity in criminals pre-frontal cortex- linked to loss of self control, social inhibitor,  tells you whats right/wrong
Corpus Callosum- lower activity in criminals, may stop L brain inhibiting R brains violence.

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Biology- Gender

Girls traditionally socialised to be more conforming and strictly supervised by parents.
Males more likely to take part in risky behaviour eg. drugs, fights - evolutionary perspective to survive and impress females.

Daly & Wilson

77 community areas in chicago.
Used peoples expected life expectancy.
Life expectancy good idicator of homicide rates - caused an increase in risk taking for short term rewards.

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