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NCJ Number: 75941 Find in a Library
Title: Psychoanalysis and Crime - A Critical Survey of Salient Trends in the Literature
Journal: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science  Volume:423  Dated:(January 1976)  Pages:67-74
Author(s): J J Fitzpatrick
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Results are reported from a critical survey of salient trends in the literature on psychoanalysis and crime.
Abstract: All psychoanalytic studies of crime are characterized by two trends which reflect the historical development of psychoanalytic theory. The first, initiated by Freud in a 1916 essay entitled 'Criminals from a Sense of Guilt,' emphasizes the motivational priority of instinctual expression and unconscious psychosexual conflict. Freud and his early followers found that criminals are not able to master their oedipal conflict (unconscious desire to eliminate the parent of the same sex and to have intimate erotic relations with the parent of the opposite sex), and consequently they suffer from an acute, albeit unconscious, sense of guilt that seeks alleviation through punishment. The second trend, following the later discoveries of the psychoanalytic ego psychologists, minimizes the role of instincts and highlights selected adaptational and environmental factors which impel a person toward criminal behavior. This theoretical reorientation has been reflected in recent psychoanalytic studies of crime, which not only seek to account for the contextual diversity of antisocial behavior but also emphasize the etiological significance of character development, the adaptational functions of the ego, and the important role played by the environment in the criminal's life. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Criminology; Environmental influences; Literature reviews; Psychological influences on crime; Psychological theories
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