Factors That Affect Criminal Behavior Based On An Individuals Developmental Course

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Desiree Cheney
Thought Paper on Criminality Developmental psychologists have a goal of predicting the developmental course of a phenomenon of interest. In order to outline these developmental trajectories, it is important to test theoretically driven mechanisms that may be playing a part in development. One area of particular interest that continues to be brought up in the field is the ability to predict criminal behavior based on an individuals developmental course. The purpose of developing a theory to explain the process contributing to or causing criminal behavior is that it can then be used to predict the outcome for a series of different individuals. One method that can be used to help identify criminality is …show more content…

An EEG is a device that measures electrical fluctuation of positive and negative waves across the scalp. Utilizing an EEG at certain time periods may identify developmental changes in specific brain areas and how information is processed. Research has investigated psychopathology, including criminal behaviors by measuring central nervous system responses using EEG’s (Fox, Schmidt, & Henderson). In Hemphälä and Hodgins (2014) study, utilized different checklists and questionnaires in their clinical interviews with mid-adolescent patients who sought treatment for substance misuse. The researchers wanted to test their hypothesis on whether psychopathic traits could predict criminal outcomes over a 5-year period. Mid-adolescent men and women were assessed on items including the Psychopathy Checklist-Youth Version (PCL-YV), and depending on their age, either the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Aged Children or the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (SCID). They were then reassessed 5 years later in their early adulthood on measures including the SCID, self-reports of psychosocial functioning, aggressive behavior, and official criminal records. The results found that using PCL-YV scores could predict psychosocial functioning and antisocial (criminal) behavior 5 years later. All 6 antisocial outcomes in early adulthood were

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