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Environmental and Genetic Influences to Criminal Behavior

by: Emily Scelta-Neff

Environmental and Genetic Influences to Criminal Behavior PIA 386

Marketplace > Adelphi University > PIA 386 > Environmental and Genetic Influences to Criminal Behavior
Emily Scelta-Neff

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About this Document

This was a hard chapter to summarize. However, I finally managed to pull from the text the most important concepts, including the infamous twin studies that pay a hand in the nature-versus-nurture ...
Psychology of Criminal Behavior
Mulinos, M
Class Notes
criminology, Psychology, Genetics, behavior, Environment
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Scelta-Neff on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PIA 386 at Adelphi University taught by Mulinos, M in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views.


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Date Created: 09/14/16
Genetic and Environmental Aspects of Criminal Behavior     At an early age, physiological abnormalities can predispose some children to aggressive and  deviant behavior. These abnormalities can be tamed and controlled by adequate and competent  parenting but, if they are not, these children will grow up to follow a path of life characterized by  high levels of aggression and violence.     Temperament is seen as a child’s inherent personality. As it is currently used in the research  and scholarly literature, “temperament” is assumed to have a constitutional or biological basis  and be influenced by the environment.     Genetic Influences    Behavioral Geneticists study hereditary trends of all types of behavior. Molecular Geneticists  study individual genes, and those geneticists interested in criminology seek to isolate individual  genes responsible for criminal behavior. For example, the MaOa gene appears to play an  instrumental role in preventing antisocial behavior in humans. The low­activity form of the MAOA  gene, called MAOA­L, has been linked to higher levels of aggression.       Proof of Behavioral Genetics­ Twin Studies    Hypothesis: Assuming genes have any notable influence on behavior, identical twins  should display similar behavior at an early age and while growing up. If twins do not display  noticeably similar personalities, then we can assume the environment has the upper hand in  determining personality.       Twin Study of Childhood and Adolescent Development: Researchers in the TCHAD study found  that genetic factors are more influential at birth, but the influence of genes wanes as children  grow into young adults.     Twin Early Development Study: Researchers in the TED study found that children with a genetic  predisposition to aggressive behavior were especially likely to follow an antisocial  developmental pathway if they were exposed to abusive environments. In other words, a certain  environment can encourage the reflection of an already existing, genetic predisposition in a  child’s behavior.                   .​Environmental Influences    Brain Damage: Untreated brain damage can lead to antisocial behaviors characterized by poor  impulse and self control.     Prenatal Environment: The quality of the prenatal environment is also clearly important in brain  development. The brain is highly vulnerable to drug or alcohol exposure or malnutrition. These  kinds of exposures can damage the brain in­utero.                                  


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