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Chapter 8

PSYCH 3CB3 chapter 8 notes

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McMaster University
Steven Brown

1 FINAL NOTES - Pages 363-405 Current Issues: - Most of focus in risk assessment research has been on perfecting the prediction of violence; especially true in actuarial methods where factors are selected based on their statistical relation to a specific outcome - therefore need for understanding causes (why) risk factors lead to violence - coping relapse model of criminal recidivism: Zamble and Quinsey explain why an individual will commit another offence after release (REFER TO FIGURE 12.1 on page 364) 1 - first level is a type of environmental trigger (e.g. lose a job, financial difficulties, stuck in traffic) 2 - emotional and cognitive appraisal of the event; if appraisal results in experience of negative emotions (e.g. anger, fear) then the individual will attempt to deal with those unpleasant feelings; if individual does not possess adequate coping mechanisms, the cycle worsens and eventually leads to criminal behaviour. 3 - perception and response to environmental trigger is based on two things: individual and response mechanisms - individual influences include criminal history and enduring personality traits (e.g. psychopathy); these factors influence how the individual perceives an event and the likelihood of them engaging in criminal behaviour. For example, psychopathic individuals are more likely to perceive ambiguous event as hostile and are impulsive, which increases the likelihood of engaging in criminal behaviour. - response mechanisms include coping ability, substance use, criminal attitudes and associates, and social supports. These also influence how an individual perceives a situation, which mediates their response. Protective factors: factors that mitigate or reduce the likelihood of a negative outcome (e.g. aggression, psychopathology); can explain why some individuals with many risk factors do not become violent - the protective factors vary across time and include prosocial involvement, strong social supports, positive social orientation (school, work), strong attachments, and intelligence. A variable identified as a potential protective factor for high-risk offenders is employment stability, whereas strong family connection is a potential protective factor for low-risk offenders. - Webster et al.: START (Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability) - help guide decision making for risk domains such as violence, self harm, suicide, substance abuse etc. uses two separate scales, risk and strength. For example, coping could be seen as a strength (having adaptive coping skill) or a risk (having maladaptive coping skills) -despite strides and advances, many practitioners are not using these new instruments. Most common is MMPI at 87%. Only 11% use Hare PCL-R and only 1% use VRAG or LSI-R -why do some criminals stop?: majority (almost 70%) show significant declines in crime by adulthood. Some reasons include insight (realize how wrong your actions were), social avoidance (avoid situations you know you cannot handle peacefully), and orientation to the family (commitment to children/spouse to avoid making the same mistakes, and to teach them not to do so). Chapter 13: Assessment and Treatment of Young, Female, and Aboriginal Offenders -young offenders - adolescents older than 12 and younger than 18 who come in contact with the criminal justice system; under 12 is processed through family and social services agencies under provincial or territorial legislation History: 1 - young were treated as adults in 17 and 18 centuries, even when it came to prisons time and death penalties. 2 - Originally, Juvenile Delinquents Act in 1908 applied to youth between 7 and 16 (only to 18 in certain jurisdictions). A separate court system was developed. Youth were called “delinquents” rather than “offenders”, and punishments were dealt in a way which parents would discipline a child (generally viewed as misguided children in need of support). Parents were encouraged to participate in the process. For example, punishment may have included being sent to a trade school to learn a skill for future employment, or just a fine or probation. Some issues included that the youth were often striped of basic rights, such as a right to counsel, right to appeal, not to mention the ambiguous definitions which allowed judges to impose open-ended sentences or punish acts that are not illegal for adults 3 - Replaced in 1984 with the Young Offenders Act. Youth are held accountable for their actions, but not to the full extent that adults are (different level of cognitive development). Diversion: a decision not to prosecute a young offender but rather have him/her undergo an educational or community-service program. Also an option for the courts dealing with offenders with mental illnesses who are facing minor charges. The court can divert the offender directly into a treatment program rather than having him/her go through the court process. This process involves the offender pleading guilty, although it included some sentences such as absolute discharge (receive no sentence other than guilty verdict) or custody. Custody could be open (community residential facility or group home) or secure (youth prison). The YOA identified that the public has the right to be protected from young offenders but young offenders have legal rights and freedoms including those described in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Children have to be at least 12 to be charged with a criminal offence. Bill c-37 allowed 16 or 17 year olds that were charged with murder, manslaughter, or aggravated assault to go to adult court because of the severity of the crimes. First degree murder was limited to 10 years, with only 6 incarcerated; second degree murder was limited to 7 years, with only 4 incarcerated.. 4 - Replaced in 2003 with the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Three main objectives are: prevent youth crime; provide meaningful consequences and encourage responsibility of behaviour; and to improve rehabilitation and reintegration of youth into the community. Changes included that less violent offences should be kept out of the formal court process. The YCJA increased the number of extrajudicial measures. Extrajudicial: term applied to measures taken to keep young offenders out of court and out of custody (e.g. giving a warning or making a referral for treatment). Transfers to adult court are removed, but instead youth court judges can impose adult sentences for those as young as 14 years old (the Crown must notify the youth court that it is seeking an adult sentence). The interests and needs of victims are recognized by giving the victims the opportunity to participate, by informing them of court proceedings, and by giving them the right to access youth court records. Youth crime rates: in general, decreasing in the past few years (violent offences and property offences). Sentencing is heavily based on probation (63% of youths under supervision), and the number of youth in sentenced (secure) custody has decreased by half since 2003 (when YCJA was implemented) Assessment: - clinicians must obtain consent from the parents or guardians, and then an agreement with the child before beginning any assessment. The emotional and behavioural difficulties can be categorized as either internalizing problems or externalizing problems. Internalizing problems: emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression, and obsession experienced by a youth. Externalizing problems: behavioural difficulties such as delinquency, fighting, bullying, lying, or destructive behaviour experienced by a youth. Externalizing problems are considered more difficult to treat and more likely to have long-term persistence. They are also quite stable with symptoms often peaking in the teenage years and decreasing by the late twenties. Males are more likely to have them (ratio is 10:1 compared to females). In order to assess, multiple informants are needed to obtain accurate reports, including the duration, severity, and frequency of troubled behaviours (the child may not be aware of his/her behaviour or the influence it has on others). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a disorder in a youth characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and hyperactivity or impulsivity. (e.g. lose items, fidget, does not listen, talks excessively: requires number of symptoms present, occurring in two or more settings, and persisting for at least 6 months). Some behaviours are part of normal development, however, hyperactive-impulse and/or inattentive symptoms before the age of 7 usually points to impairment. ADHD kids also usually diagnosed with ODD and CD. (20-50% of ADHD kids found to have ODD or CD) Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD): a disorder in a youth characterized by a persistent pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behaviour. (e.g. loses temper, deliberately annoys others, vindictive). 40% of children will ODD develop CD; but if a child qualifies for a CD diagnosis, an ODD diagnosis is not used. Usually not officially diagnosed until 18 or older. Conduct disorder (CD): a disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of behaviour in which a youth violates the rights of others or age-appropriate societal norms/rules. (e.g. physically cruel to animals, initiates physical fights, lies for gain, set fires). 50% of children with a CD diagnosis go on to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder in adulthood. Usually not officially diagnosed until 18 or older. - estimated that 5-15% of children display severe behavioural problems. In the Ontario Child Health Study of 1987, 18% were found to experience CD, hyperactivity, emotional disturbance, or combo of these. - two trajectories: childhood onset (social transgressions and behavioural problems in very early childhood) and adolescent onset (problem behaviours emerging in teen years) - age of onset is a good predictor of future behaviours (e.g. early onset of antisocial behaviour is related to more serious and persistent antisocial behaviour later in life) **However, most young children with behavioural difficulties do not go on to become adult offenders (or even young offenders). -70% of general population experiences adolescent-onset pattern (e.g. rebel in teen years, but not enough times and/or not enough things to classify as CD) Theories: 1. Biological: examined relation of frontal lobe functioning (responsible for planning and inhibiting of behaviour) and antisocial behaviour. Those with CD have less frontal lobe inhibition of behaviour, which means they act more impulsively; and that can lead to poor decisions later in life. - CD youth have slower heart rates; genetics influence chances of antisocial behaviour (between parent and child - if parent has it, high chance child will too), especially if the father has it. 2. Cognitive: Kenneth Dodge model - thought process starts when people pay attention to and interpret social and emotional cues in their environment. Next step is to consider alternative responses to the cues. The final step is a response is chosen and performed. CD youth have deficits, so they have fewer cues and misattribute hostile intent to ambiguous situations. CD youth also have limited problem solving skills, produce fewer solutions to problems, and solutions are generally aggressive in nature. - two types of aggressive behaviour: reactive aggression and proactive aggression. Reactive is an emotionally aggressive response to a perceived threat or frustration (earlier onset of problems); proactive is aggression directed at achieving a goal or receiving positive reinforcers. 3. Social learning theory: a theory of human behaviour based on learning from watching others in the social environment and reinforcement contingencies. (e.g. imitate parents, peers, siblings media - will usually imitate actions associated with positive reinforcement [reward]). If parents are aggressive though, child will likely imitate those actions because of the close relationship. -Dr. Richard Tremblay: studies “how nice kindergarten children become juvenile delinquents and violent offenders”. Participants are getting younger and younger (started with adolescents, now very young children). Studied developmental paths and the factors that affect them - now working on preventative interventions for pregnant women based on genetic factors and changing parents’ behaviour. Will use scan to examine brain development in fetus and long term development of behaviour. He later wishes to examine environmental interactions and how they may influence deviant development. Risk factor: a factor that increases the likelihood for emotional and/or behavioural problems (individual or social factors). Multiple risk factors can lead to negative child outcomes (but not just one factor). - individual: genetic/biological, such as a parent’s own ADHD will affect the offspring, especially boys; Pregnant mother’s use of drugs/alcohol place fetus in high risk for behavioural problems; diet and expose to high levels of lead after birth are risk factors for externalizing disorders; difficult to sooth as children and children whoa re impulsive are at risk. - familial: parents who neglect children or children that do not attach securely to the parents are at high risk; divorce/familial conflict are risk factors; parents who are overly strict/apply harsh punishment; child abuse; low SES, large family size, and parental mental health problems are reported risk factors. - social/school: trouble reading or lower intelligence are risk factors for antisocial behaviour; aggressive peers influence children negatively and are risk factors at school; social disapproval and rejection (which could be caused by their aggressive behaviour) is also a risk factor. Resilient: characteristic of a child who has multiple risk factors but who does not develop problem behaviours or negative symptoms Protective factors: factors that mitigate or reduce the likelihood of a negative outcome (e.g. aggression, psychopathology) and help improve/sustain some part of an individual’s life. Garmezy - identified number of areas in which protectiveness can be present: genetic variables, personality dispositions, supportive family environments, and community supports. - Rutter - four ways protective factors are effective: 1. Reduce negative outcomes by changing risk level of the child’s exposure to a risk factor 2. Change the negative chain reaction following exposure to risk 3. Help develop and maintain sel
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