PSYC39H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Juvenile Delinquency, Social Control Theory, Social Learning Theory

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19 Nov 2012
CHAPTER 3 Theories of Crime: Learning and Environment
Psychodynamic Theories
- humans inherently antisocial, driven by pleasure-seeking and destructive impulses crime happens when
these aren’t under control happens because internal psychic forces fail to develop
- id: personality present at birth and represents unconscious, primitive, and instinctual desires governed
by pleasure principle: seeks immediate pleasure w/ little consideration of undesirable consequences that
may result if impulse is acted upon
- ego: attempts to mediate between one’s primal needs and society’s demands governed by reality
principle: development coincides w/ emergence of reality-oriented thinking and allows id to function in
socially acceptable ways by suppressing its impulses until appropriate situation arise
- superego (challenges id drives, ego guided by this too): represents internalization of group standards
(typically conveyed to child through parental care and discipline), and acts as moral regular (job over-sees
choices we make)
two sub-systems
1) conscience: allows individual to distinguish between right and wrong and forces ego to inhibit id
pursuits that are out of line w/ one’s morals
2) ego-ideal: represents socially acceptable standards to which we all aspire
- table 3.1, p.72 personality development occurs across five psychosexual stages
difficulties resolving conflicts w/in any stage=potential result in problems w/ personality development
problems w/ superego formation=failure to identify w/ prosocial parents interest to develop
explanations of crime
1) neurotic criminal: commits crime as result of harsh superego, assumed to lead to pathological lvls
of unconscious guilt=crimes meant to subconsciously invite punishment=resolve guilt
2) psychopathic personality: commit crime because of weak superego (violent offenders, egocentric,
impulsive, guiltless, unempathic)
3) deviant identification: commit crime as result of deviant superego, superego standards developed
but deviant
Bowlby’s Theory of Maternal Deprivation
- popular theory of how juvenile delinquency develops
- young children require consistent and continuous maternal care=develop normally
disruption to mother-child relationship=many harmful and potentially irreversible longer-term effects
(esp. establishing prosocial relationships)
lack abilities=not develop means to control conduct, more likely to exhibit antisocial patterns of
- now seems that maternal deprivation not critical factor, damage isn’t necessarily irreversible, over
predicts juvenile delinquency
Unravelling Juvenile Delinquency: The Work of Glueck and Glueck
- primary interests: discovering causes of crime and assessing effectiveness of correctional treatment in
controlling criminal behaviour
- conducted cross-sectional research, compared lives of juvenile delinquents and non-juveniles (also
- took multidisciplinary approach to examine delinquency
- attributed differences between delinquents and non-delinquents to parenting factors (superego
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