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NCJ Number: 120683 Find in a Library
Title: Psychobiological Factors in the Explanation and Reduction of Delinquency: Genetics, Intelligence, Morality, and Personality
Journal: Today's Delinquent  Volume:7  Dated:(1988)  Pages:37-51
Author(s): D P Farrington
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 15
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Criminologists must demonstrate not only genetic effects on criminal behavior, but must specify precisely how these effects operate and interact with environmental factors.
Abstract: Criminality prediction can expand in the next decade through increased knowledge of behavioral influences by neurotransmitters and pathways in the brain. While low intelligence is linked to delinquency, high intelligence may protect high-risk children from crime by allowing them an escape from undesirable social conditions. Deficiency in executive functions -- attention and concentration, abstract reasoning, planning, self-monitoring and inhibition of inappropriate behaviors -- is particularly linked to criminality. Delinquents also exhibit retarded moral development, both in terms of automatic conditioning and conscious moral reasoning. Hyperactivity-impulsivity-attention deficit can be measured from early childhood, is consistent over time, and predicts later unlawful behavior. Researchers now must determine where to intervene to break this life-long syndrome of antisocial personality, for example, in childhood or adolescence and in males who are the worst offenders or in females who are at risk of teenage pregnancy. 26 references.
Main Term(s): Criminality prediction
Index Term(s): Antisocial attitudes; Biological influences; Intelligence-crime relationships; Moral development
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