CHAPTER 7 – VIOLENT OFFENDING
Defining Aggression and Violence
- Human Aggression: any behaviour directed towards another individual that is
carried out with the immediate intent to cause harm. The perpetrator must believe
that the behaviour will harm the target , and that the target is motivated to avoid the
- Violence: Aggression that has extreme harm as its goal (death)
Prevalence of Violence
- Violent crimes are 1/8 of criminal incidents
- Rate of violent crime has decreased since early 1990’s. 2007 had the lowest rate.
However robbery without a weapon has increased slightly.
- Robbery is a violent offence bc it involves an implied threat of violence. 11% of
robbers involved a firearm while 60% had no weapon.
- PEI had lowest rate of robber. Manitoba had the highest. 2007
- Violent crime by youth has increased.
- General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization. Shows only 33% of violent incidents
were reported. Reporting rates highest for robbery physical assaults sexual
- Reporting to the police more likely involving physical injury than nonphysical
injury and for injuries with weapons compared to nonweapons.
- Common reason for not reporting was the victim dealth with it another way
wasn’t important enough didn’t want police involved fear
- Rates of victimization were quite similar for men and women
- Men more likely experienced non sexual violence
- Women more likely to experience sexual violence than men
- Excluding spousal violence, half of violent crimes were by someone known to the
- Characteristics of violent victimization: being young, single, going out in evening,
living in cities. Higher for 15-24 year olds… dropped with increasing age.
Hostile VS Instrumental Violence
- Hostile Aggression: An impulsive reaction to some real or perceived provocation or
threat. Active, repulsive, emotional, reactive aggression. Man finds wife cheating and
assaults the man.
- Instrumental Aggression: Premeditated and aimed at achieving some secondary
goal. Predatory, premeditated, proactive aggression. A man plans to rob a woman
leaving a bank and assaults her after she refuses.
Instrumental Aggression Rating Measure
1. Planning or preparation before the aggression
2. Goal directed – the act helped obtain a specific and identifiable goal
3. The aggressive behaviour was unprovoked by he victim 4. Lack of anger during the aggression
5. The victim was the aggression was a stranger.
Higher ratings were associated with instrumental aggression.
Social Learning Theory
- Albert Bandura
- Expected outcomes influence the likelihood and extent of aggressive behaviour
- Operant Conditioning: behaviour is shaped by its consequences;
reinforcement/punishment. Reinforcement increases the likelihood that a given
behaviour will occur. Punishment decreases the likely of its occurrence.
- people only learn not to from direct experience and observation.
- Self-reinforcement refers to the influence of self-administered
rewards/punishments for aggression.
General Aggression Model GAM
- integration of many smaller theories of aggressive behaviour.
- Person inputs (traits, gener, beleifs) refer to relatively stable characteristics that
individuals bring to any given situation and can predispose one toward or against
- Situational inputs (aggressive cues, provocation, frustration, pain) can influence
aggression in a given episode.
- The routes through which person and situation inputs influence aggression are
cognitive, affective, and arousal states.
- Cognitive states: include hostile thoughts and behavioural scripts
- Aggressive states: include mood and emotion as well as expressive motor
Arousal states: can influence aggression in many ways.
Evolutionary Psychological Perspective
- Most violent people: young men, completely disadvantaged men, or psychopaths
- young men have few resources and low status and they are competing with other
males for resources and mates. Through violence these men may be able to gain
resources. But as they older they realize that the costs of violence outweigh the
benefits so they switch from short-term high risk strategies to long-term lower risk
- compared to general criminal recidivism, violent recidivism is less frequent.
- Unstructured Clinical Judgment: involves arriving at an estimate of risk based on
the assessor’s own idiosyncratic decision about what factors to consider and how to
combine those factors.
- Empirical Actuarial Instruments: The selection and combination of items and
derived from their observed statistical relationship with reci