Correlation Between Mental Illness and Violence and Crime Essay

2291 Words 10 Pages
Literature Analysis and Research Proposal of the Correlation between Mental Illness and Violence and Crime

Over the past few decades, many researches have strived to test and explain the correlation between violence and crime and mental illness. Moore and Hiday (2006) assert that up 22% of inmates has a mental illness, sometimes containing more mental illness patients than many psychiatric units. Due to these statistics it is evident how important it is to understand the causes of the correlations between crime and violence and mental disorders. This proposal wishes to explain and understand the possible correlation and the reasons for such correlation between mental health illnesses and violence and crime. Further research to test
…show more content…
These theories strive to explain how these factors may have an influence of crime and mental illness.
Social Learning Theory and Mental Illness The Social Learning Theory strives to show how behaviors are acquired and maintained through various techniques. According to this theory, three basic constructs are apparent. Differential association explains that a person engages themselves in a group that has an acceptance toward crime as a possible means of obtaining necessary life goals. People engaged in these groups learn to view crime as either positive or negative. Differential reinforcement explains how well the participation in crime is accepted and imitation is the final acceptance of the crime by observing others and committing the crime as well. Applied to mental illness, individuals with mental illness are more likely to be engaged with individuals of these ideals due to excessive exposure from close contact in low socioeconomic areas.
Social Stress and Mental Illness According to the Social Stress Theory, crime and violence is related to the amount of stress felt in one’s life. Applied to mental health, it is proposed that mental illness will lead to stressful situations in life which will in turn lead to crime and violence (Silver 2006). Stressful life events have shown a relation to an increase in
Open Document