Psychopathy Crime ; Bibliography

My Topic of Interest about Crime

Psychopathy Crime (Dependent Variable)

Kiehl, K. A., & Hoffman, M. B. (2014, June 16). The criminal psychopath: History, neuroscience, treatment, and economics. PubMed Central (PMC).

The article reveals that psychopathic criminal offenses have increasingly risen over the years and the victims continuously resist all forms of treatment.  Psychopaths are approximately twenty times likely to engage in violent activities and have high recidivism chances compared to non-psychopath. The article further reports that psychopathy indicates a psychological disorder that emerges during the early stages of childhood and spurs during adolescence. Psychopathy occasionally leads to the disintegration of family and social relationships, which escalates the effect of the condition. Approximately 16% percent of offenders in incarceration centers are psychopaths, while an estimation of 1% percent of the other population reportedly displays psychopathic behaviors. Psychopathy is a widespread mental disorder that has led to many fruitless efforts in treating the problem due to the manipulative nature of psychopaths. Psychopaths tend to earn early release from imprisonment and recidivate more violently.  Neurological research shows that psychopathic criminal offenses are triggered by the nature of the brain and genetic factors (Kiehl & Hoffman, 2014). Therefore, criminologists have the role of understanding the causes of psychopathy to enact treatment programs and reduce the high recidivism rates of offenders.

Nummenmaa, L., Lukkarinen, L., Sun, L., Putkinen, V., Seppälä, K., Karjalainen, T., Karlsson, H. K., Hudson, M., Venetjoki, N., Salomaa, M., Rautio, P., Hirvonen, J., Lauerma, H., & Tiihonen, J. (2021, April 9). Brain basis of psychopathy in criminal offenders and general population. OUP Academic.

According to Nummenmaa et al. (2021), psychopathy is a personality condition that leads to extremely violent and aggressive behaviors. The prevailing psychopathy symptoms are lack of empathy, antisocial behaviors, fear, and egocentrism.  Research has linked insidious psychopathological behaviors with brain and limbic malfunctions, which causes an emotional breakdown. A functional magnetic imaging study on nineteen male criminals and a hundred non-offenders examined the relationship between psychopathy and mental conditions. The research demonstrated that psychopathic criminals had a lower gray matter density in the anterior insula and orbitofrontal cortex. Psychopaths have elevated thalamus and insular response with a high probability of sparking violence. The article concludes by affirming that antisocial behaviors in psychopaths are a brain characteristic that can also appear in normal functioning individuals.

The article dismisses brain characteristics as an excuse for allowing psychopathic criminal offenses, just like Kiel and Hoffman’s article. Both articles acknowledge the prevalence of psychopathy in criminal justice, approximating a psychopath population of 1% of the total population in America. However, both Kiel and Hoffman and Nummenmaa et al. insist on the importance of understanding the psychology of psychopaths to enact effective policies.

Wilson, N. J. (2015). Psychopathy and its implication for criminal justice – Key presentations and discussions from a specialist conference held May 2015, Austin, Texas.

Wilson’s article discusses the assessment tools for categorizing psychopaths, making it easier for criminologists to understand and treat criminal offenses. Four primary groups help to analyze psychopathy levels, namely interpersonal, lifestyle, antisocial and affective. The groups break down psychopathy offenders into sociopaths, aggressive ones, and manipulative offenders. Manipulative psychopaths have high interpersonal and lifestyle scores and are susceptible to sexual and fraud criminal offenses. On the other hand, sociopathic offenders are often antisocial with some levels of empathy but may engage in hardcore criminal activities. Aggressive psychopaths have a high tendency of instrumental violence and have average scores of the psychopathic grouping. According to Wilson (2015), psychopathy knowledge helps criminologists to predict criminal behaviors and identify psychopaths’ deceptive skills. Criminologists can analyze psychopaths who appear normal and unmask them to curb possible criminal threats. The article concludes by emphasizing criminologists need to assess psychopath risks to enhance public safety.

Wilson’s article takes a similar approach as Kiel and Hoffmans in highlighting the high manipulative skills of psychopaths that enable them to engage in violent activities and escape incarceration centers silently. Psychopathy in criminal justice requires specific attention since the offenders display high intelligence and has posed a significant threat to society.

Parental Influence (Independent Variable)

Anderson, N. E., & Kiehl, K. A. (2015, February 25). Psychopathy: Developmental perspectives and their implications for treatment. PubMed Central (PMC).

According to Anderson and Kiehl (2014), psychopathy follows a developmental curve that begins during childhood, develops in adolescence, and wholly manifests in adulthood. Therefore, psychopathy criminal offenses are occasionally nurtured in childhood and harbored gradually in adolescence and adulthood. The loss of empathy, inadequate emotional responses, and inability to control oneself in psychopaths does not necessarily occur randomly, but it is a process that advances through stages.  The article also mentions how the manipulative skills of psychopaths brew social problems such as loss of jobs or breakdown of their relationships, which further accelerates their emotional abnormalities. Parental guidance is critical in monitoring the process of development in children (Anderson & Kiehl, 2015). Therefore, the article insists on the relevance of foreseeing and monitoring the development of children to handle psychopathologic criminal offenses effectively.

Gao, Y., Raine, A., Chan, F., Venables, P. H., & Mednick, S. A. (2013, July 23). Early maternal and paternal bonding, childhood physical abuse and adult psychopathic personality. PubMed Central (PMC).

The article focuses on parent-child bonding and relationship and compares them to psychopathological criminal offenses. The writing delves into how weak parent-to-child bonds can lead to aggressive or sometimes fatal adult behaviors. The main aspects of parenting that lead to psychopathy traits discussed in the article include inadequate maternal care, separation from family or divorce, and a distant parent-child relationship. Poor parental bonding creates emotional detachment in children, which leads to egocentrism and impaired empathy (Gao et al., 2013). As a personality disorder, parents play a crucial role in shaping children’s behavior since they are also responsible for molding their environment. The article concludes by suggesting that the best way to handle psychopathy criminal offenses is by early intervention.

Tuvblad, C., Bezdjian, S., Raine, A., & Baker, L. A. (2014, September 1). Psychopathic personality and negative parent-to-Child affect: A longitudinal cross-lag twin study. PubMed Central (PMC).

The article reflects on the relationship between children’s antisocial behaviors and parental influence and glances at the hereditary factors in psychopaths. The article reveals that parenting styles are a significant determinant of psychopathic characteristics in children since parents shape the mentality of children. However, the article also notes that children’s behavior in early life stages may determine the kind of maternal care delivered in their life. For instance, parents may interpret children’s antisocial behaviors as a portrayal of shyness, lack of confidence, or high intelligence quotients. The article preempts that psychopathy, a manifestation in adulthood, is nurtured during the early stages of life. A study on 1562 twins demonstrated that hostile parenting leads to the development of psychopathy behaviors at 14 to 15years (Tuvblad et al., 2014). It also showed that children antisocial personalities led to hostile parenting.  The article also points out that poor parenting characteristics such as harsh treatment, negligence, and abuse can lead to future aggressive behaviors in adulthood. The article concludes by introducing the bidirectional aspect of poor parenting and childhood psychopathy; both factors can occur interchangeably.

The three articles all discuss the role of parental influence (independent variable) on curbing psychopathological crimes. The articles have proven through research that many psychopath male offenders report having an abusive, neglectful, and uncaring parental background. In a larger context, the articles urge criminologists as guardians to address psychopathic problems during the early stages of development. Criminologists should enforce policies that foresee an upright development of children to prevent problems that worsen in adulthood. Moreover, criminologists need to gain psychopathy knowledge to identify the possible threat early and intervene appropriately. However, it remains a challenging task for criminologists to address hereditary psychopathy patterns in children and adolescents regardless of implementing policies that ensure responsible parenting. How can criminologists contain the psychopathy hereditary features in children, and to what extent do genetic factors determine the parenting style offered to children while implementing responsible parenting policies?

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