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Are Criminals Born or Made?

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Rose Vinnicombe

on 27 May 2016

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Transcript of Are Criminals Born or Made?

Personality disorders are mental health conditions that affect how someone thinks, perceives, feels or relates to others.

Someone with antisocial personality disorder will typically be manipulative, deceitful and reckless, and won't care for other people's feelings.

Antisocial personality disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder
Histrionic personality disorder
Paranoid personality disorder
Personality Disorders
Are Criminals Born or Made?
In 1961, Donald West began his longitudinal study examining 411 working-class boys aged 8 to 9.
About a fifth of them were convicted of criminal offenses as juveniles.
Over a third were convicted by the time they were 32.
David Farrington joined in 1969 and became solo director of the project in 1981

Risk Factors
The strongest family factors are criminal or anti-social parents, poor parental supervision and disrupted families.

Risk Factors to increase chance of criminal activity

Attention problems
Low school attainment
Poor parental supervision
Parental conflict
A young mother
Low family income
'Youth and Crime Third Edition', by John Muncie
'Criminology Third Edition', by Stephen Jones
'The Science of the Mind and Behaviour, sixth edition', by Richard Gross
'Criminology', by Steven Briggs
- Peak age of offending is 17 or 18 for males and 15 for females
-Adults account for 80 per cent of all detected crime.
-Approximately 80% of youth offenders are male
-Black or black British young people are over-represented at all stages of the youth justice system

Genetics and the 'Pathological Family'

- In 1913, in an attempt to challenge Lombroso's findings Charles Goring argued that criminality was inherited.

-His study was called 'The English Convict: a Statistical Study'

-The research compared 3,000 English recidivist prisoners with large groups of 'non-criminals' over an eight year period

Biochemical Factors

Interest in the chemical structure of the human body began to develop around the nineteenth century when the secretion of the endocrine glands ( hormones) were identified.

-In 1928, Max G Schlapp and Edward H Smith published a book entitled 'The New Criminology', which stated that crime resulted from emotional disturbance caused by hormonal imbalance.

TV and Film Violence
Bandura (1973) took the view that people can learn from visual images in the same way they learn from personal interactions.

He stated that 'People who watch television for any length of time will learn a number of tactics of violence and murder. Television is a superb tutor'.
Background on the study
This longitudinal study began in 1961 by Donald West.

In his study he examined 411 males from London aged 8 to 9. At the age of 48
Why the study started?
West was influenced by the methodology and findings of Sheldon Glueck and Eleanor Glueck in 1950.

Aims :
- To document the start, duration and end of offending behaviour from childhood to adulthood in families
-To investigate the influence of life events and risk factors contributing to the individual being more likely to commit crimes
Methods and procedures
They used :

-Self reports
-In depth interviews
-Psychological testing
- Qualtative and quantitative data
-In school tests of individual characteristics

The participants were 411 boys born in the years 1953 - 1954, 97% came from the register of 6 state schools in East London.

The remaining 12 boys came from a local school for the 'educationally subnormal'

The Findings
The most important distinguishing characteristics that led to criminality fell into 6 categories:

Anti-social childhood behavior
Low intelligence
Family criminal records
Family poverty
Poor parenting

The researchers concluded that early prevention that reduces offending could have a wide range of benefits reducing problems with accommodation, relationships, employment, alcohol, drugs and aggressive behaviour.

Social bond theory
Background to Youth and Crime

In your opinion what makes a psychopath?
Travis Hirschi in 1969 proposed that close bonds with family, friends and others keeps people away from breaking the law.

He broke down the social bonds into four parts:

Activity time!
In your groups produce a mind map of your ideas and conclusions of whether criminals are born or made.

In your mind map include facts, figures and relevant recall from the presentation.
BBC4 Documentary - 'The Mystery of Murder: A Horizon Guide'
Full transcript