Published on 23 Jul 2011
School
Simon Fraser University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 376
Chapter 13 ~ How victims Become Offenders
-Assumption (theory by Curtis)cycle of violence” – abused children become abusers and victims of violence become violent
victimizers
-1980s cycle of violence did not pass scientific muster, but methodological limitations (used cross-sectional designs,
ambiguous definitions, lack control)
-Midwest study (Maxfield and Widom) matched on age, sex, race = followed up 25 years
~ findings: child abuse and neglect increased risk of arrest as juvenile by 55%; increased risk of committing violent crime as
juvenile by 96%
~ Found abused and neglected children were associated with earlier onset of juvenile crime; more likely to be recidivist and
chronic offenders
Abused and neglected girls = almost 2x more likely vs. girls no histories to be arrested as juveniles,+ 2x likely arrested s
adults,2.4x arrest for violent crime
~ Subset of abused and neglected girls who develop antisocial and delinquent lifestyles that persist into adulthood and become
chronic persistent offenders with serious criminal careers
-Stouthamer-Loeber, Loeber,Homish, Wie described findings from Pittsburgh youth Study = results: youths with substantiated
records of maltreatment more likely vs. control to have juvenile arrest records and self-report delinquent and violent behaviour
-The Child Development Project 2-site (Indiana, Tennessee)longitudinal study confirms relationship between childhood
victimization and juvenile delinquency
~ experience physical abuse in first 5 years of their lives more likely to be arrested as juveniles for violent and nonviolent
offenses, but not more likely to report delinquent acts
-Delinquency rates higher for boys vs. girls
-Child abuse and neglect appear to increase risk for juvenile crime in both girls and boys
-Many abused and neglected children do not become delinquent or violent youths
-Theories of how victimized children may grow up to become juvenile and adult offenders
Social Learning Theory – children acquire behaviours through modeling and reinforcement contingencies in context of
social interactions
~ learn behaviour by imitating others, observed behaviour is salient when model is someone of high status aggression
in family = powerful model= gives message such behaviour is appropriate
~ Family reinforce/punish child aggressive behaviour through their reactions, = can either perpetuate or extinguish
behaviour
~ Neglectful parents pay attention to child more when she is aggressive even if attention is hostile would reward their
behaviour
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~ Studies aggressive parents tend to produce aggressive children; exposure to family or media violence = observe
increase aggression and violence
~ Coercion Model (Patterson,Reid, Dishion) expanded social learning theory = coercive interactions between parents
and children foster aggressive behaviours in children which leads to coercive interactions with peers and association
with deviant peers = peer interactions provide further social modeling and reinforcement
Maslows Hierarchy of needs- how neglected children may turn to delinquency, crime, violence
~ Certain basic needs must be met before individuals can attain “self-actualization or optimal level of psychological
functioning
~ Most basic needs are psychological (e.g. food, water, sleep) and safety (eg. Security of ones own body, health,
family)
~ needs met love and belonging and then self-esteem can be achieved advanced psychological functions such as
coping, problem solving, moral reasoning needs basic needs to be met
~ Childhood neglect – lack of food, clothing, shelter, or medical attention to provide a healthy and secure environment
for developing child
~ Physical and sexual abuse can interfere with sense of safety
~ do not have most basic needs met may be disadvantaged in term of pysycological and emotional development
Bowlby’s attachment theory – early bond that an infant develops with a caretaker and is the basis for an “internal
working model of world that functions a framework for subsequent interactions with interpersonal environment
~ Deprivations of early caretaker-child relationship can lead to antisocial characteristics
Social information-processing patterns (Dodge et al.) suggest severe physical harm during early childhood (b4 5)
leads to chronic aggression by bringing about development of biased and deficient social infomraiton-processing
patterns
~ might interpret harmless action as an attack and respond aggressively
-childhood victimization impact development of self- concept, attitudes, or attribution style which influence how they respond
to situations
-Low self-esteem as most common outcome in child victimization (direct/indirect)
-Maladaptive styles of coping early maltreatment may give rise to impulsive/risk-taking behaviours that’s related to
deficiencies in problem-solving, poor school, or inadequate occupational functioning; running away and substance abuse =
mostly researched
-Homeless and runaway youths = found most left home in response to abusive or neglectful home environments
-CSA increase likelihood homeless youths will be involved in criminal behaviours
-Running away place child at risk for exposure to other forms of victimization and street culture for crime
-Drug abuse – for emotional or psychological escape, enhance self esteem, relieve depressive symptoms, feel low worth, concept,
blame self; complex relationship
-deviance syndromesubstance abuse may develop in conjunction with participation in delinquent and criminal subcultures =
coexist
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Document Summary

Assumption (theory by curtis) cycle of violence abused children become abusers and victims of violence become violent victimizers. 1980s  cycle of violence did not pass scientific muster, but methodological limitations (used cross-sectional designs, ambiguous definitions, lack control) Midwest study (maxfield and widom)  matched on age, sex, race = followed up 25 years. ~ findings: child abuse and neglect increased risk of arrest as juvenile by 55%; increased risk of committing violent crime as juvenile by 96% ~ found abused and neglected children were associated with earlier onset of juvenile crime; more likely to be recidivist and chronic offenders. Abused and neglected girls = almost 2x more likely vs. girls no histories to be arrested as juveniles,+ 2x likely arrested s adults,2. 4x arrest for violent crime. ~ subset of abused and neglected girls who develop antisocial and delinquent lifestyles that persist into adulthood and become chronic persistent offenders with serious criminal careers.

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