Psychological Theory Of Crime Is The Psychoanalytical Theory

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One psychological theory of crime is the psychoanalytical theory. Developed by Freud, this theory suggests that innate desires and repressed emotions are what shapes individual behaviour and are thus the cause of offending behaviours. Freud proposes that the mind is made up of 3 components: the Id, the ego and the superego. The Id is a part of the unconscious mind that we are born with; it is dominated by aggressive drives that are monitored by the ego. The superego, unlike the Id, develops as a result of early social experiences and is the ‘moral guardian’ of an individual. Due to this, criminal behaviour can be seen to be an expression of buried internal conflicts that have resulted due to deprivations experienced at childhood, such…show more content…
Freud’s theory can be seen to be supported by control theory; the idea that we are all born with a natural inclination to violate rules of society ( the animalistic/aggressive nature of the Id) and crime results from a failure of others to bond with the individual and teach them not to offend. This is, however, a sociological theory and thus puts forward the question of whether to account fully for offending behaviour whether both psychological and sociological theories needs to be taken into consideration.

This disruption of attachment playing a key role is accounting for offending behaviours was emphasized by Bowlby who suggested there was a link between maternal deprivation and anti-social behaviour. He proposed that any rejection or separation between mother and child in early childhood development was highly problematic. This was backed up the ’44 thieves study’ (Bowlby 1944) in which it was reported that 39% of a group of juvenile delinquents had experienced significant disruption to their attachments, compared with just 5% of the non-delinquent group. Although this study does show support for the idea that disruption of attachments and consequently having a weak superego can be significance to explain offending behaviours, it cannot be seen to give concrete evidence to fully account for offending behaviours. 61% of the delinquents had still committed some form of offending behaviour without any disruption to
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