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When studying crime and personality, what kind of behaviour is focused on?

Aggressive and antisocial behaviour.


Outline sex differences in crime.

Total of males and females held in custody in August 2010 in England and Wales:
- Male: 67,690
- Female: 3,413
There's a massive gender bias.


What developmental evidence is there for sex differences in aggression?

Romano, Trembley, Boulerice and Swisher (2005) did a large national longitudinal study in Canada of children aged 0-11, and found that males exhibited more aggression and less prosocial behaviour after controlling for parental style, family variables and neighbourhood variables.


What did Bonica et al. (2003) find?

Girls are highly aggressive in preschool if relational aggression (damage to relationships) is considered.


What did Crick and Grotpeter (1995) find?

In middle childhood, 4.2% girls were identified as aggressive (if physical), but if this included relational the percentage rose to 21.6% - amount of aggression depends on definition of aggression.


What did Tremblay (2000) do?

Investigated social environment, said that aggression is innate for some people. Also stated that aggression effects into adulthood are established.


What did Wadsworth & Achenbach (2005) do?

Studied aggression and other problems over 4 years, measuring parental evaluations of aggressive behaviour, SES and referrals.


What did Wadsworth & Achenbach (2005) find?

That those in the lower SES group showed a rise in aggressive behaviour across the study years, and of those referred for problems, lower SES individuals scored the highest for aggression.


What did Haynie et al. (2006) do?

Investigated the role of peer networks in aggression. National longitudinal study of adolescent health. All students were interviewed and identified 5 friends of each sex to be interviewed (verify aggression data), and data was collected about violence, peer networks, and SES (highest level of education + parental occupation).


What did Haynie et al. (2006) find?

That low SES was correlated with fighting, peers who fight, and peers of lower educational involvement. Also the disadvantaged neighbourhood effect was mediated by connection with violent and unmotivated peers.


What issue is there with Haynie et al. (2006)?

The issue of cause and effect - aggressive individuals may seek out such networks, rather than the other way round.


What did Bandura (1973) state?

That social learning/peer modelling is important for aggression.


What can information on parental background and aggression be used for?



What did Moretti et al. (2006) study?

112 adolescents in a referral centre (severe behavioural problems and youth correctional) in Vancouver and violence.


What did Moretti et al. (2006) find?

That males & females witnessed equal amounts of paternal violence, but females witnessed more maternal violence. Males acted aggressively to friends more than females, but females were more aggressive than males towards their partners. For females, maternal violence was linked to current violence to friends and partner, and for males it was linked to current violence to their partner (paternal=friends).


What did Johnson et al. (2006) investigate?

The role of parental mental health in violence - links to interventions.


What did Johnson et al. (2006) find?

Low parental affection or nurturing was associated with elevated risk for offspring antisocial behaviour across ages 22-33.


What did Maguins & Loeber (1996) do?

A meta-analysis of academic performance and delinquency .


What did Maguins & Loeber (1996) find?

Those with low academic performance:
- Offended more frequently
- Committed more serious and violent offences
- Persisted in their offending
- Academic performance predicted delinquency independent of socioeconomic status (despite them being extremely linked)


What does the psychoanalytic approach state about antisocial behaviour etc.?

- Development of superego aids conscience (and reduction in antisocial behaviour)
- If poor attachment to parent (mother)  sublimation of needs to criminal activity - diversion, emphasis displaced.
- If permissive (or not nurturing) parents, superego content is not sufficiently moral
- if superego underdeveloped  lack of check on pleasure principle = ID in control.


What did Martins (1981) find?

The link with poor parenting (and undeveloped superego) is not moderated by education.


What did Adler (1982) find?

Disturbed child-mother relationship results in incomplete sense of self in the world. A lack of ‘fix’(more controversial) results in the need to belong and be contained in secure environment being ‘embraced’. Therefore provocation by antisocial behaviour is incitement to society to contain them and give them security via prison - prison is the secure environment they want.


How does crime relate to the PEN model?

Furnham & Thompson (1991) found that high E and N condition poorly compared to stables. Due to this, and the controversial assumption that offenders have little control or socialisation, it was concluded that those higher in E, N and P are more aggressive.


What did Furnham (1984) study?

210 UK non-delinquents and the variables personality, anomie and social skills.


What did Furnham (1984) find?

The best predictor of self-reported delinquency was P, then N, then anomie, E and social skills.


What did Farrington (1992) find?

N is different for different samples - official offenders are high in N and low in E, and self-reporters low in N and high in E. However both related to P.


What have most studies suggested about offenders' personality scores?

Offenders score higher on P and N, and results for E are mixed. P seems to be a robust indicator.


What did Heaven (1996) do?

Tracked 282 14yr olds over 2 years.


What did Heaven (1996) find?

P at T1 was best predictor for late delinquency at T2 with E and self-esteem, but all 3 accounted for only 6% of variance - other factors must be involved.


What facets are related to antisocial behaviour?

- Excitement seeking (Eysenck & Gudjonsson, 1989)
- Impulsiveness (Rigby et al., 1989)
- “Venturesomeness” (Heaven, 1994)
- These facets are all very similar - what are we actually measuring?