Problem Behavior Syndrome
The life course view is that criminality may be best understood as one of many social problems faced by at-risk youth, referred to as problem behavior syndrome (PBS). In this view, crime is one among a group of interrelated antisocial behaviors that cluster together and typically involve family dysfunction, sexual and physical abuse, substance abuse, smoking, precocious sexuality and early pregnancy, educational underachievement, suicide attempts, sensation seeking, and unemployment. People who suffer from one of these conditions typically exhibit many symptoms of the rest. All varieties of criminal behavior, including violence, theft, and drug offences, may be part of a generalized PBS, indicating that all forms of antisocial behavior have similar developmental patterns. (Siegel, p. 228) I knew a girl whom I was best friends with for almost 10 years. During year 6 of our friendship, I moved out of state. We still kept in contact. As the years went by, we slowly stopped talking. When I finally moved back to our hometown, I found out that this friend had turned to drugs, violence, and had a very long criminal record. I wanted nothing to do with that because I was trying to better myself. Unfortunately, she is still running down that wrong path, in and out of jail, on various different types of drugs, and even losing custody of her three children. This friend of mine possesses many of antisocial behaviors. Some would include substance abuse, early pregnancy, educational underachievement, and unemployment. I’m not sure how she got into drugs, but I have tried multiple times to get her into rehab. She objects. When it came time to graduate from high school, her wrong ways and drug abuse prevented her from doing so. With being unemployed, having no education, and always on some kind of drug, I see this friend having problem behavior syndrome.
Criminology: The Core,...
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