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Lecture 11


Course Code
PSYC 376
Deborah Connolly

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Chapter 13 ~ How victims Become Offenders
-Assumption (theory by Curtis)cycle of violence” – abused children become abusers and victims of violence become violent
-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
~ Neglectful parents pay attention to child more when she is aggressive even if attention is hostile would reward their

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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
~ Most basic needs are psychological (e.g. food, water, sleep) and safety (eg. Security of ones own body, health,
~ 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
~ 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 =
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