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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83002 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Violence
Editor(s): M E Wolfgang; N A Weiner
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 347
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-NI-AX-0127
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This comprehensive survey of theoretical and research literature covers biological and psychological determinants and correlates of criminal violence, longitudinal analyses of criminal violence, domestic violence, the role of firearms, situational approaches to understanding and predicting individuals' violent behavior, and the violent offender in the criminal justice system.
Abstract: A review of the relationships among biology and aggression, antisocial behavior, and criminal violence cites studies on genetics, sex differences, autonomic nervous system functioning, neuropsychology, neurophysiology, biochemistry, and psychopharmacology. The authors propose a psychophysiological theory of rule-violating behavior, relating the lack of emotional anticipation of punishment and slow skin conductance recovery to the inability to learn behavioral inhibition. A formulation of the psychological dynamics of aggression is correlated with typologies of criminal violence -- murder, forcible rape, kidnapping and hostage taking, terrorism, bombing, arson, and robbery. A discussion of longitudinal studies demonstrates how this method of analysis provides insight into the evolution of violent juvenile and adult criminal careers. Domestic criminal violence is an area of insufficient, inconclusive, and problematic research; however, linkages have been demonstrated with gender, developmental experiences, race, stress, and substance abuse. A paper examines handgun acquisition, presenting a target-vulnerability thesis, which suggests that firearm availability has different impacts on homicide, assault, and robbery. The discussion of situational analysis integrates materials drawn from environmental and social psychology, enthnography, and social ecology and examines the way in which personal and environmental factors interact to produce criminal violence. The processing stages of the criminal justice system are examined in relation to selective data on homicide, forcible rape, robbery, and assault and the discrepancies between initial arrest charges and final convictions. Charts, references, and tabular data are included with individual chapters.
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Criminality prediction; Domestic assault; Judicial process; Longitudinal studies; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime; Situational theory; Violent crime statistics; Violent crimes; Violent offenders; Weapons violations
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