Brain Injury

  • Created by: hwelch17
  • Created on: 23-09-18 19:23

One biological explanation of crime investigates the relationship between offending behaviour and damage to the brain as a result of an injury. A brain injury may be caused by an accident or an illness. 

'Traumatic' brain injury occurs directly as a result of a trauma to the brain (i.e. car accident, falling and injuring the head or bring assaulted in the head). It can also be caused by long term alcohol and drug use. 

The consequence of the brain injury is dependent on the on the area of the brain that has been injured, as different parts of the brain are responsible for different skills. The personality of an individual may change as a result of brain injury or a person may start to behave in a way that is untypical of them pre-trauma. Sometimes the behaviours that people engage in can be reckless or involve aggression towards others. 

William et al 2010: Found that 60% of 196 prisoners investigated had received some form of traumatic brain injury due to falling, car accidents and sports activities. They noted that adults with traumatic brain injury were relatively younger at entry into prison system than those without brain injury and reported higher rates of repeat offending. Thye suggested that these injuries affect the development of temperament, temperance (abstinence from drinking alcohol), social judgement and control impulses. The injury may also contribute to a greater level of risk taking behaviour, therefore, making it more likely an individual may become involved in antisocial activities. Impairment in these areas of development could contribute to criminality. 


Summary of findings relating to brain injury and criminal/antisocial behaviour

For or against the argument that brain injury relates to criminal/ anti-social behaviour

Brower and Price (2001) Anti-social and criminal behaviour relate to frontal lobe brain injury. For 

Blumer et al. (1975, cited in Brower and Price, 2001) Frontal lobe injury links to anti-social personality. For

Labbatte et al. (1997, cited in Brower and Price, 2001) Frontal brain injury in two cases improved impulsivity and anti-social behaviour. Against in a way. Shows relationship but not in the expected direction



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