PSYC39H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Multisystemic Therapy, Family Therapy

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11 Dec 2012
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Chapter 5: Juvenile Offending
Children under 12 not charged even if they commit murder
intervention/treatment done to prevent further crimes
Children under 12 under Child and Family Services act
12-18 = young offenders, Youth Criminal Justice Act
History
before 19th cen children and youth commiting crimes tried as adults
1908- Juvenile deliquents act - applied to 7-16 year old, juveniles called
“delinquents,” separate court
o criticism: informality of youth court, denying youth rights (appeal,
legal rep), broad definition of delinquency
1984 Young Offenders Act replaces young offenders cognitively
different than adults therefore sanctions should be according to dev.
Stage, recognition of community protection, granted rights under Charter,
7-12 years old
o diversion: decision not to prosecute, but have the offender
undergo educational or community service (offender has to plead
guilty for this to happen)
o Bill c106 introduced to solve the problem of juveniles always
pleading guilty to avoid transfer to adult court
o Billc37 changed this again 16-17yrs charged with
murder/sexual assault automatically in adult court, youth
sentencing also changed
Canada has higher incarceration rate for youth in the western world
2003 Youth criminal justice act replaces YOA intent is to keep
juveniles out of court and custody
o prevent youth crime
o provide meaningful consequences/encourage responsibility of bx
o improve rehab/reintegration into community
under YCJA, once charged, juvenile can no longer be taken to adult court,
if juvenile is guilty then they can impose adult sentence if defendant is
atleast 14
YCJA increased extrajucidal measures (community options/less serious
alts. Before court)
YCJA victims are recognized
Youth Crime Rates
Legislation may not decrease number of crimes commited by youth, but
affects recording of crimes
After YCJA decrease in property crime, violent crime stayed stable
Youth Sentences
Custodial sentences for serious violent crimes, after YCJA numbers dropped
Most common sentence for juv probation
New sentences under YCJA deferred custody and supervision orders
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Trajectories of Juv. Off
Child Onset: behaviour problems start very early in childhood, very
uncommon, most young children with behaviour probems do not go on
to become adult offenders
Adolescent onset: behavioural problems start in teen years, more common
Age of onset a critical factor predicts later life behaviour
Theories to explain Juv. Offending
Biological
o fathers who engage in antisocial are more likely to have kids like that
o Wadsworth (1976): antisocial youth have slower heart rates which
means higher threshold for excitability and emotionality
o Moffitt and Henry (1989): less frontal lobe inhibition in antisocial
youth impulsivity
Cognitive
o Focus on thought process, interpretation of social and emotional cues
and responses to them attribute hostile intent to normal situations
o Cognitive deficits and distortions; limited problem-solving skills in
antisocial youth
o Types of aggressive behaviour: reactive aggression (emotionally
aggressive response to perceived threat) and proactive aggression
(aggression directed at achieving a goal or receiving positive
reinforcers)
o Reactive aggressive youth deficiency early in cognitive process
o Proactive deficiency in generating alternate responses, choose
aggressive one
Social
o Learning behaviour from others children more likely to learn
behaviour that gets positive reinforcement, highly aggressive children
often witness parents, siblings engaging in same behaviour
(intergenerational aggression)
o Coercive family process behaviour in youth develops from imitating
parents, and inadequate parental supervision/disciplining
o Violent video exposure reinforces aggression and desensitives to
real world violence
Risk Factors
Individual birth complications, maternal care as a fetus, temperment,
substance abuse, low verbal intelligence and delayed language…strongest
predictor of juvenile offence is aggressive behaviour before age 13
Familial poor parental supervision, involvement, conflict, abuse/neglect,
low SES
School poor academic performance in elementary school, truancy
Peer aggressive peers, peer approval of deliquent acts, gangs, social
isolation
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