Psychological Explanations - Mental Health and Personality, cognitive theory


Cognitive development theory

Kohlberg (1988) identified three levels of moral reasoning, each consisting of two stages. Level one occurs during the middle of childhood, an individual at this level is pre-conventional and their moral reasoning is based on obidence and avoiding punishment. Level two occurs toward the end of childhood and during teenage years, an individual at this level is conventional and moral readsoning is based on the expectations that family and friends have. Level three occurs in early adulthood, an individual is post-conventional and are able to go beyond social coventions. They value the laws of the social system; however, they are open to acting as agents of change to improve the exisiting law and order. Individuals that do not progress through the stages may become arrested during their moral development and consequently become deliquents. 

Moffitt proposed a dual taxonomy in which the role of cognition abilities were consistent with life-course offending. Moffitt identified two groups of offenders consisting of life course persistent offender and adolscence limited offender. It is generally


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