what are the 3 latent trait theories in criminal justice?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The "latent trait" view holds that there is some personal attribute or characteristic present in all people which controls their inclination or propensity to commit crime. The most sophisticated model of this idea can be found in Rowe, Osgood & Nicewander (1990), but there have been a number of efforts since then to identify which trait is the "master" trait. Suspected traits include defective intelligence, impulsive personality, genetic abnormalities, physical-chemical functioning of the brain, and/or environmental influences on brain function. Wilson & Herrstein (1985), for example, attempted to develop a human nature theory of crime which argued that personal traits outweigh the importance of social variables. In a latter work, similar authors (Gottfredson & Hirschi 1990) argued that "low self-control" was the "master" trait, the root cause of which was inadequate child-rearing. Gottfredson & Hirschi's ideas in this regard are often treated as a control theory of crime.

    A fairly new "latent trait" approach has been that of Mark Colvin (Colvin 2000; Unever et. al. 2004) who argues that chronic criminals emerge from a developmental process characterized by recurring, erratic episodes of coercion. There are two types of coercion: interpersonal (which is direct, involving the use or threat of force from parents, peers, and significant others); and impersonal (which involves pressures beyond individual control). Colvin’s differential coercion theory integrates several existing criminological perspectives, but in brief, attempts to locate the root cause of chronic offending in the fact that such offenders grew up in homes where parents used erratic control and applied it in an erratic and inconsistent fashion.

    Also fairly new is Tittle's control balance theory (Tittle 1995), which expands on the notion of personal control as a predisposing element of criminality. Control, as a concept, can refer to either the amount of control one is subject to by others, or it can refer to the amount of control one can exercise over others. Those who have an excess of the first kind of control tend to engage in exploitation, plunder, and decadence. Those who have a deficit of the second kind of control tend to engage in predation, defiance, and submission. All six behaviors are ways to restore a balance.

    The "life course" view can probably be traced back at least to the Gluecks (Glueck & Glueck 1950), but most modern criminologists trace it to Sampson & Laub's (1993) book, Crime in the Making. Two concepts are important from this point of view. One is the concept of "trajectory" which is the pathway of development over the life course marked by a sequence of transactions. Every trajectory has an entry point, success point, and the element of timing. Normal development is characterized by avoiding any event that may be called an "off-age" event. Two is the concept of "transition" which refers to the life events themselves which are embedded in the trajectories. Transitions can consist of tipping points or turning points, but generally refer to radical turnaround points in life. Most life course theorists presume that the seeds of a criminal career are planted early in life, point to "age of onset" as being the best predictor of later, more serious criminality, and research things like getting married or joining the military as turning points. However, people may begin their trajectory into crime at different times in their life. For example, the forensic psychologist, Terrie Moffit argues that there are two (2) main trajectories, as explained below.

  • 3 years ago

    Latent Trait Theory

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    4 years ago

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  • 3 years ago

    Trait Theory Criminology

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    such a horrific story I see the updates on the news every night and I'm so happy and thankful the kids were taken from the family. I have so many complaints about our criminal justice system here, it is always to easy on the criminals and if you have good lawyers here you can get away with almost anything, such a shame really. if you ever went into israeli talkbacks you'd see that people are so angry at the courts and prosecution which have a tendancy to make deals instead of having full trials, something to do with prooving, such a shame really good point you are adressing. we are all shocked here this is the most sickest disgusting craziest story of child abuse I have ever heard in all the time of israel. you know so many people are prosecuted also neighbours for not calling sooner then they did. yes he is a monster that should rot in jail for life. I can't believe that some people have the nerve to ruin children's lives and self images that some people think because they are parents they have the right to take away from children the opportuniy to enjoy the amazing life experiences and love and replace them with abuse and hate, these children will later become societies failures and criminals themselves because of their parents. it makes me so happy as I had tears in my eyes too when I saw on the news the other kids go to foster loving homes. yeah i hope so too,but first they have to feel safe in the world agains and start getting real education with no hitting/abuse of any sort from zero. I personally think that they will be haunted with this most of their life, and maybe have issues sometimes but i really hope not. edit: yes can you believe it? one of them is in a coma and the doctors don't know if he will wake up. I'm sorry with all the tenderness in me and sympathy and understanding to humans I just don't have any other opinion she needs to be in jail for life. her lawyers will be pleading for insanity, what's new.

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