Should a 7 year old be held for criminal Intent

Topics: Limbic system, Emotion, Psychology Pages: 3 (631 words) Published: February 10, 2014


According to our legal system, children under 7 are not held responsible for crimes. It is said that a 6 year old cannot form criminal intent. The developmental factors that supported this legal decision are biosocial, cognitive and psychosocial. The first years of life are a vital period for early brain development. The environment of a child’s earliest years can have either negative or positive effects that can last a lifetime. The biosocial factors of a child this age includes the inability to control impulsiveness, expression and regulation of emotions and injury control or harm reduction; cognitively factors includes conservation and logic and social learning and psychosocial factors include emotional regulation and electronic media influence. Biosocial Development

In Chapter 5 we saw that the brain develops at an alarming rate from birth through infancy. By age 2-6 most of the brain is functioning and present, however the maturation of the prefrontal cortex or the executive of the brain is very important at this age. The Prefrontal Cortex controls social understanding and planning in young children. If this part of the brain is not yet developed anxiousness will be evident. Another function of the Prefrontal Cortex is to focus attention and thus curb impulsiveness. (Berger, 2011 pg. 216) Impulsiveness and preservation are opposite manifestations of the same underlying cause: immaturity of the Prefrontal Cortex. The Limbic System which aids in...
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