Teaka De La Cruz
February 20th 2009
The psychology behind criminal behavior has been the subject for debate dating back to renounced psychologist pioneer Sigmund Freud. Exactly what could cause a human being to act in unspeakable violent, antisocial, or sadistic behavior? In the past sociologist believed that environment contributes a huge role in predicting criminal behavior. Psychologists in the early 19th century believe genetics were the corporate contributing to criminal behavior and the parents inherited genes wee the cause. The outdated viewpoints and old ways of diagnosing human behavior have passed to a new realization. The genetics deposition alone will not determine behavior, however; the wrong environment increases the statistics of participation and violent behavior.
My youngest uncle was raised in a large dysfunctional family. He was the victim of a broken home torn apart by divorce in the late nine-teen sixties. It was evident he was battling emotional, psychological, and personality dysfunction by adolescent. He was diagnose with bipolar and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). As a teen he experimented with the drug craze of the seventies to control his emotions. It was only a matter of time before the unassuming attractive blond hair; blue eye teen would become a statistic in prison for minor drug charges. My uncle’s prison experience was inhumane for a skinny teenager suffering from an anti social condition. The violent sexual and physical he encounter coupled with the lack of sufficient psychological treatment for his disorder led to more psychosis. The prison environment became the reason that led him to suffer from dual personality disorder. Unfortunately, my uncle never became a productive member of society.
The psychology behind human behavior suggests that biological influences shapes human behavior. The brain genetic structure is inherited from our parents. The brains controls powerful neuro-chemicals that control the way we think and feel. Oxytocin gives us the feeling of falling in love. Endorphins help us feel an array of energetic and emotions that shield us from fear and seem to lend us extra courage when we need it. The brain could produce enough of desperately needed of neuro-chemicals that are used to create the most basic human functions such as melatonin for sleeping. When a potential criminal genetically suffers from deficiency and a chemical mononoanine oxidize, for example this imbalance will lead to aggressive or impulsive behavior. A proper level of neuro-chemicals serotonin is imperative when conducting social behaviors. Low levels have been linked to bipolar disorder, anxiety, impulsiveness, and depression. According to statistics, 16% of inmates of state and local jails suffer from mental disorders. Please refer to the chart below. Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice
|Reported a... |State Prison |Federal Prison |Jail |Probation | |Mental or emotional condition |10.1% |4.8% |10.5% |13.8% | |Overnight stay in a mental hospital |10.7% |4.7% |10.2% |8.2% | |Estimated to have a mental illness |16.2% |7.4% |16.3% |16.0% |
Research indicates that children with genetic personality disorder with impaired judgment for consequences will lead to criminal behavior. Studies show that impulsivity can come from ADHD (Holmes et al, 2001) states that, impulse control dysfunction and the persistence of hyperactive and in attention are the most highly related pre-existence factors for presentation of antisocial behavior. Predicting the criminal outcome of an individual based on genetics is not 100% possible however the science is getting close. One...
References: Knoll, J. (2006), Psychiatric Times, From General One File, University Of Phoenix Library
Drehle, D (2007), It’s all about him, Time From General One File, University of Phoenix Library
Sachs, A. (2004), The Rule of Law, Time, From General One File, University of Phoenix Library
Ted Bundy interview, January 3rd 2009, retrieved online via youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVV6-ThQ5MI
Alper, J. (1995). Biological influences on criminal behavior: How good is the evidence? British Medical Journal, 310, 272-273.
Brunner, H. G., Nelen, M., Breakefield, X. O., Ropers, H. H., & van Oost, B. A. (1993). Abnormal behavior associated with a point mutation in the structural gene for monoamine oxidase A. Science, 262, 578-580.
Eysenck, H. J. (1982). Personality, genetics, and behavior. New York: Praeger.
Eysenck, H. J. (1996). Personality and crime: Where do we stand? Psychology, Crime, & Law, 2, 143-152.
Garnefski, N., & Okma, S. (1996). Addiction-risk and aggressive/criminal behavior in adolescence: Influence of family, school, and peers. Journal of Adolescence, 19, 503-512.
Holmes, S. E., Slaughter, J. R., & Kashani, J. (2001). Risk factors in childhood that lead to the development of conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 31, 183-193.
Joseph, J. (2001). Is crime in the genes? A critical review of twin and adoption studies of criminality and antisocial behavior. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 22, 179-218.
Larsen, R. J., & Buss, D. M. (2005). Personality psychology: Domains of knowledge about human nature (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
Lowenstein, L. F. (2003). The genetic aspects of criminality. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 8, 63-78.
Miles, D. R., & Carey, G. (1997). Genetic and environmental architecture of human aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 207-217.
Morley, K., & Hall, W. (2003). Is there a genetic susceptibility to engage in criminal acts? Australian Institute of Criminology: Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, 263, 1-6.
Raine, A., Mellingen, K., Liu, J., Venables, P., & Mednick, S. A. (2003). Effects of environmental enrichment at ages 3-5 years on schizotypal personality and antisocial behavior at ages 17 and 23 years. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 1627-1635.
Rasmussen, K., Storsaeter, O., & Levander, S. (1999). Personality disorders, psychopath, and crime in a Norwegian prison population. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 22, 91-97.
Rhee, S. H., & Waldman, I. D. (2002). Genetic and environmental influences on antisocial behavior: A meta-analysis of twin and adoption studies. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 490-529.
Russo, E., & Cove, D. (1995). Genetic engineering dreams and nightmares. New York: Freeman.
Schmitz, M. F. (2003). Influences of race and family environment on child hyperactivity and antisocial behavior. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 65, 835-849.
Sloan, P. R. (2000). Controlling our destinies. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
Tehrani, J., & Mednick, S. (2000). Genetic factors and criminal behavior. Federal Probation, 64, 24-28.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document