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PSY328H5 (63)

Developmental Approaches to the Study of Crime

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Dax Urbszat

Developmental Approaches to the Study of Crime Material in ppt will be under theories of crime – factors leading one to become criminal – in textbook if inside it. Material in ppt is more up to date Think about process models = development models, causal models  theoretical models which can be tested empirically Talking about sequence of events in a person’s life: string together the events to create causal chains (leading to an outcome); these events have influence on subsequent events Example: at 5y, mom is pregnant and has a new baby arrives in your life – you were an only child, no longer now Mom is busy with newborn, you’re starting kindergarten and parents don’t have enough time for you so your emotional well being will be affected – how well you get along with peers, are inattentive and distractive, troublesome and disruptive to classroom Material draws on devp psych & devp psychopathology, where process models are relevant Agenda 1. Introduction to a developmental perspective on crime 2. Developmental risk factors: important in developmental perspective on crime 3. Terrie Moffitt’s dual taxonomy model: currently the dominant theoretical developmental model on the onset of crime 1. Proposed model in 93 in article, cited ever since by thousands for onset on conduct problem behavior, delinquency, antisocial, criminal (which is defined by the CJS – criminal liability is at age 12) 4. Trajectory research: , juvenile offenders sentenced to homes – looking at criminal history of these males over 16 years 5. Risk and protective factors in practice: exercise at the end Adevelopmental approach to the study of crime encompasses… Need to become familiar with the terminology of the discipline: Developmental criminology: introduced by Canadians Leblanc & Lober; marriage between developmental psychology and criminology (same as developmental psychopathology = developmental psychology and psychopathology); we are interested in the factors that give onset to behaviours such as antisocial, delinquent (and criminal – less broad b/c legal term). Aperson engaging in crime has a history of behaviours leading up to it. Can reliably predict first court contact 7 years prior with reliability and accuracy – antisocial & conduct problem behaviour can predict this. We are also asking which factors give rise to maintenance of behaviour once initiated.Adifferent set of risk factors that give rise to onset of behaviour are separate from those that maintain. Developmental and life course (DLC) criminology - Introduced by British David Farrington; early 1990s - Different from developmental criminology which talks more about childhood behaviour and go up to adolescence - Is there an adult onset criminal? Risk factor research (RFR): already discussed some of this Criminal career: criminologist Blumstein wrote 2 books = precursor to DC and DLC; talking about career in a more general sense (such as like an academic career); discipline and frequency of effort; supports you have to achieve goals; can be studied in different dimensions: age of onset of antisocial behaviour, age of onset of criminal behaviour, frequency of offending, severity of offending (serious: murder or lower level: theft), timing of offending (many in short duration, period of intermittency where they stop), length of criminal career b/w initiation and termination (stopping for some reason) Ontario Correctional Institution (prison) b/w Steeles and Queen on McLaughlin: met, interviewed, and written reports on many adult criminals. South of it, largest youth prison in Canada: gangs. Sylapse in Oakville. 2 prisons in Milton, ON: one for women, Maplehurst . Opened a new prison in Toronto near Lakeshore. These are all pretty close to us Onset, course, desistance: how old were you and what were the factors that gave rise to onset; dimensions of course: frequency, duration, and severity of crimes; stopping and giving up crime or dying, turning life around, being too sick to commit crimes. We know more about factors for onset than for desistance. Crime is a process: happens over time, not at a time. Example: crime (event) happened at 4pm, but drug use began 8pm day before as a result of personal problems  process models: stopping crime is a process, just as quitting smoking is a process Trajectory analysis: will be talked about later on, part of process model and criminal career, drawing out a picture/graph Person-oriented approach: theoretical and conceptual way of thinking, but also statistical; statistical models we use to study crime from a devp pov which is all about process models, trajectories take a person oriented approach which means we follow a certain person over time and analyze their crime over time In contrast, variable-oriented approach is analysis of variance where you look at group means (grouping mean scores of everybody, but lose individual’s uniqueness). Need longitudinal data which involves repeated sampling of same individuals at least 3 times, where you can see if the scores went up, down, or stayed the same  if you have 4 or 16 then you can look at all sorts of changes in development. Analysis of variance: can look if mean scores went up or down or stayed at the same Developmental psychopathology: will be discussed next VIDEO: Little Criminals (CBC movie on YouTube) an 11y boy engaging in antisocial behaviours: spit on something – assault charge; assault on someone with his crew; instances of aggressive behaviour & violence; vandalism: setting mailbox on fire – property damage; extortion; substance and drug use; threatening: uttering a death threat = assault charge; he lives by the laws of the street where if someone takes you down you reward them vs. laws of the country where you call the cops – antisocial attitudes: single best predictor of antisocial behaviour; has no conscious = potential psychopath (need more information) – when does it become, how does it develop, interaction of factors bringing onset or present at birth; there are measures of psychopathy for children; not outside of realm of possibility but an extreme; social disadvantage: growing up in poverty and economic deprivation = risk factor HOWEVER does not explain crime; he’s a parentified child: taking care of his mother = risk factor and affects his development and thinking – his behaviour is precocious (more typical of a person older than his age); lack of parental supervision & poverty may be part of this – stress within parents takes away parenting behaviours children need; undermined children’s normative developmental processes, which further undermine future normative developmental processes; he’s a versatile offender rather than a specialist; it is found that children who engage in versatile offending are at a higher risk of becoming involved with the CJS; a leader for his crew and street smart – risk factor now  risk factors can be turned around (double-edged sword) 3 ways to conceptualize his behaviour, each of which has an implication of response to his behaviour: 1. Criminal: criminal liability varies around the world so it is an arbitrary number – 12 in Canada (used to be 7 under YOA laws change), 15 in Sweden, 7 in New York, Florida and some states do not have a minimum age at all; can criminalize his behaviour by lowering the age and prosecute him through the criminal justice system 2. Psychopathologize the behaviour: would certainly meet criteria under DSM for conduct disorder; in DSM-5 the onset age cut off is 10; is it mild, moderate or severe?Anti-authority stance that he takes, versatility of behaviour, leadership role  diagnosis: conduct disorder, childhood onset, severe. Response: treatment such as medications 3. Psychological: risk factors in his life – causes that gave rise to onset; dimensions of antisocial behaviour (DIMENSION ONE versatile vs. specialist; TWO MORE introduced by Frick: overt (bullying, aggression, extortion) vs. covert (lying, theft, property damage) & destructive (fire- setting) vs. non-destructive (drug use)). RESPONSE: Treat with CBT, family work, residential facility. Being in school = protective factor; his mother is passive and drawn from his life so maybe he’s motivated himself to go Development is…  Development is about change and continuity  Does the behavior escalate over time? Does the behavior continue over time?  It is about understanding why things change and why they stay the same  Explaining change  Why does delinquent peer group maintain antisocial behavior?  It is about understanding relations between past events and future outcomes that appear to be connected (correlated? causally? proxies? markers?)  Looking at home life – is it a cause or correlation  Is poverty a proxy for something else such as lack of parental supervision?  It is about understanding the causal mechanisms or dynamic processes of development  Why lack of parental supervision and monitoring is associated with this behavior?  What is the causal mechanism? How is the child affected? What does the
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