Linking Childhood Delinquency And Adult Crime Essay Sample
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Behavior, Childhood, Crime, Social Issues, Adolescence, Life, Adulthood, Theory
It has already been shown that childhood antisocial behavior is one of the best predictors of antisocial behavior in adulthood and that children who exhibit delinquent behavior during their elementary school yeas are at an accentuated risk for both adolescent delinquency as well as adult crime. However, some theories seem to suggest that the criminal trajectory is not always so continuous, and some individuals only engage in crime during their adolescence as a result of factors beyond their control. There are two theories that are used to explain this stability and changes in antisocial behavior and one is the age-graded informal social control theory by Sampson and Laub and the other is the developmental taxonomy theory by Moffit (Linking Childhood Delinquency and Adult Crime: Life Course Perspectives on Antisocial Behavior Part Two, 2015).
According to Sampson and Laub, social bonds during adolescence and during adulthood explain criminal activity. For example in early life, parenting is an aspect that matters very much while in adulthood, social bonds like marriage or even employment matter and play a huge role towards deterring crime. They act as turning points that can result in behavioral change including crime deterrence.
Moffit’s theory identifies two types of offenders, those who exhibit criminal behavior during the course of their lives (life course persistent offenders) and those who only exhibit delinquent behavior during their adolescence (adolescent limited). For the first group, children’s neuropsychological problems often interact cumulatively within their crime laden environments across t development, and this culminates in pathological personality (Moffit, 1993). This group can, for example, be compared with men who engage in various antisocial behavior including spousal abuse. According to Simons, Simons, and Wallace (2004), the fact that they exhibit severe spousal abuse is an indication that they have a general antisocial orientation and the large measure of their antisocial behavior is as a result of having been brought up in family that is both disorganized and violent and, therefore, their behavior is almost pathological and is unlikely to change. In regard to the second group of offenders, during their adolescence, a contemporary maturity gap is responsible for encouraging teenagers to mimic social behavior in ways that are both adjustive and normative (Moffitt, 1993). Question that arise from these assertions include; what kind of parenting encourages the first type or the second type of offending as described by Moffit? Is it possible for people who have not been delinquent in their childhood to become delinquent in their adolescence and then be delinquent for the rest of their lives?
“Linking Childhood Delinquency and Adult Crime: Life Course Perspectives on Antisocial Behavior Part Two”. Families and Crime. (CCJ 4931). 2015.
Moffitt, T. E. (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: a developmental taxonomy. Psychological review, 100(4), 674.
Simons, R.L., Simons, L.G., and Wallace, L.E. (2004). Families, Delinquency, and Crime: Linking Society’s Most Basic Institution to Antisocial Behavior. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury. (ISBN 1- 931719-30-6).