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141

Youth crime

be consistent with the promotion of cognitive development and thus
moral reasoning. Discipline practices that involve parents explaining
why behaviour is wrong (Speicher 1994) do correlate with higher
levels of moral reasoning among adolescents and children. However,
families that engage in those discussions also tend to be characterised
by higher levels of cohesion, warmth and supervision (Palmer 2005),
so it is difficult to conclude that the cognitive factors on their own
are the most crucial. The significance of emotional development will
be considered next.

Emotional development
A number of psychological theories of development have portrayed
the period of adolescence as being a troubled one. The American
psychologist G. Stanley Hall, at the beginning of the twentieth century,
is often credited with ‘discovering’ adolescence as a period of great
turmoil. He is known as the father of child psychology in the USA,
publishing the first comprehensive study of adolescence in 1904. In
this, he proposed a theory of development called ‘recapitulation’. The
idea of recapitulation during development originally emerged from
study of how fetuses develop in the womb. Human fetal development
is said to mimic the various stages of evolution. It goes through a
period of being fish-like and then bird-like before becoming typically
mammalian. Stanley Hall argued that the psychological development
of the individual mirrors the social evolution of mankind (Stanley
Hall 1904). The adolescent period of development was a time of great
stress and change. Adolescence marked the period of transition from
childhood to adulthood, mirroring a stage of transition in human
evolution from prehistoric times, when social life was primitive and
largely disorganised, to the beginnings of civilisation. To Stanley
Hall, it was a time of great creative potential and yet a struggle
for civilised behaviour. He listed several contradictory traits that
he took as characterising adolescence: on the one hand, eagerness,
zest, enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity, alternating with, on the
other hand, apathy, inertia and indifference. The adolescent could
be capable of notable sensitivity and altruism – or cruel selfishness.
Delinquency and crime were a result of uncontrolled natural revolt
against the system that was trying to restrain them (Stanley Hall
1912). Stanley Hall was involved in the opening of the Juvenile
Psychopathic Institute in Chicago in 1909, a move that reflected
anxiety about troubled youth in that rapidly growing city.

Psychoanalytic theory has been largely typical in following the
idea that youth is a period of Sturm und Drang. Early psychoanalytic

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Understanding Criminal Behaviour

142

theory did not, however, have much to say about adolescence as
a developmental period, since Freud and his immediate successors
were much more focused on the psychological significance of early
childhood up to age 5 or 6. His daughter Anna Freud was the first
psychoanalyst to carry out significant theoretical work on adolescence.
In The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence (1936), she emphasised the
period as involving change and oscillation:

Adolescents are excessively egoistic, regarding themselves as
the centre of the universe and the sole object of interest, and
yet at no time later in life are they capable of so much self-
sacrifice and devotion. They form passionate love-relations
only to break them off as abruptly as they began them … They
oscillate between blind submission to some self-chosen leader
and defiant rebellion against any and every authority.

(Freud 1936: 137–8)

For Anna Freud, adolescence should be a difficult stage:

I take it as normal for an adolescent to behave for a considerable
length of time in an inconsistent and unpredictable manner …
Such fluctuations would be deemed highly abnormal at any
other time of life.

(Freud 1958: 260)

The British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, who wrote extensively
about youth and delinquency (Winnicott 1984), saw delinquent
theft as representing children’s attempt to steal back what they felt
had been lost to them. In this, he saw delinquency as sometimes a
hopeful sign, as delinquent children at least had the unconscious
belief that things could get better if they got back what they felt had
been lost. To the psychoanalyst, this is a more positive situation than
that facing people who has never felt their emotional needs being
met. Winnicot also saw the apparent destructiveness in delinquency
as the individual making an unconscious demand for boundaries and
attention. In more general terms, Winnicott believed that there is an
element of aggression inherent in adolescence and subscribed to the
view of adolescence as being a necessary period of turmoil and change.
To Winnicott, part of the psychological task of becoming an adult is
to take over control from the previous generation. In the unconscious
mind of the developing adolescent, this represents the overthrow and
‘murder’ of the parents. Such powerful feelings are likely to arouse

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Subject Index

Jealousy 33, 185, 205, 206, 207–212

Knife crime, stabbing 51, 183, 196, 198

Labelling theory xvi, 13, 19, 92–93
Learning difficulties (mental

handicap) 49, 50, 58
Life Course Persistent offenders

(LCP) 84, 86–91, 101–102, 133–136,
147, 150, 211, 241, 242–243, 254,
256

‘London Study’ (or Cambridge
Study) 73–86; 87, 89, 94, 99, 104,
115, 134, 154

Lone parent see single parent

Matrilineal 223–224
Mental Health Act (MHA)
1959 47, 48, 55, 60
1983 49–51, 52, 54, 55, 61, 65
Revision of the MHA 49
Mental Illness see Depression; Mental

Health Act; Schizophrenia;
Personality Disorder

Mentalise, Mentalization, Emotional
Representation, Mental
Representation 68–69, 90, 120, 189,
191–192, 227

Modernity – post-modernity, high-
modernity xix–xx, 244–253

Moral development 27, 107, 138–141,
144, 165, 242

Moral emotion xxiv, 70, 116–117, 127,
129, 184, 186, 192, 244, 244–248

and adolescence 138, 145–147,
242–243

Moral insanity 35, 55–61, 65, 66, 68,
71, 240

Mothers 79, 81, 83, 85, 170
mother-child-dyad 69
mothers and risk factors for

delinquency 77, 107–111, 120,
121, 252, 259–260

mothers and psychoanalytic
theory 164–165, 168–170, 220

mothers and violence towards
children 171, 177, 182, 195,
199–201

mother-in-law 213
motherhood 251
reciprocal effects of children and

parents 121–123
‘stay at home’ mothers 16
stepmother 33

Murder xviii, 18, 63, 131, 171, 175–
176, 207–208
Murder and suicide 212–213
see Chapter 7 for ‘studies of homicide’
see also Diminished Responsibility

Narcissism, Narcissistic Personality
Disorder see Personality Disorder

Paedophilia 219, 228–237, 244
Parenting Styles, practices 17, 105,

106, 112–121, 211, 252
During adolescence 146, 148

Parenting – intervention, parenting
orders 255–256

Peer Groups xxiii, xxiv, 15, 16, 17,
28, 88, 93, 95, 97, 109, 115, 129,
133–134, 137, 138–139, 143–145,
147–149, 152–153, 160, 168, 214,
235, 242, 252, 253, 257

Personality Disorder 35, 37, 29–41, 46,
55–71, 120, 122, 174, 191, 228, 233,
236, 240, 249–250, 261
Anti-social Personality Disorder

(APD) xxi–xxii, 29, 40–41, 89–
99, 99, 104–5, 242, 261 see also
Psychopath, Psychopathy

Dangerous and Severe Personality
Disorder 62, 261

Borderline Personality Disorder
63, 64

Narcissistic Personality Disorder,
Narcissism 62, 64, 249–250, 252

‘Severe Personality Disorder
Emerging in Childhood’ 92

Phenomenology 18, 33, 186

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310

Post-modernity – see modernity
Poverty 7–8, 18, 28, 44, 73, 78, 88, 93,

105, 107, 114, 126, 137, 198
Pre-menstrual syndrome 174–176
Prison 75, 83, 126, 247, 260, 261–262

HMP Grendon 261
and mental disorder 39–42, 47, 54,

60, 65, 174, 240
Provocation (and female violence)

195–197
Psychopathy/psychopath 29, 35, 41,

42, 49, 55–61, 64–68, 114, 140, 141,
234, 236
see also Personality Disorder, Anti-

social Personality Disorder
Psychoanalysis 31–33, 100, 107,

and adolescence 141–143
and female violence 200–201
and ‘masculinity’ 164–170, 188,

209
and Narcissism 188–190, 251
and personality disorder 58, 68–70
and sex offending 219–221

Racist violence 188
Rage 34, 102, 120, 179, 184–193, 198,

201, 209–212, 221, 259
Rape xxv, 22, 162–163, 204, 213–228
Rational Choice Theory 27–28, 34
Relative deprivation 137
Road rage – (parking rage) 191
Robbery 18, 83, 154–155, 187, 195–195
Routine Activities Theory 27–28

Schizophrenia 40, 44, 49, 51, 52, 54,
55, 57

School (and influences on
delinquency) xxiii, xxiv, 73, 92, 93,
94–95, 96, 98, 104, 147, 150–151,

176, 224, 232, 242
see also School exclusion

School exclusion xxiii, 92, 96, 150, 258
Self–harm 41, 66, 70, 171, 201, 236
Sex crime 203–204
Adolescent sex offender 235–236
Sex Offenders Register 229
see also Rape
Shame 12, 15–16, 19, 35, 69–70,

116–121, 129, 132, 145–146, 152,
169, 184–188, 192–193, 202, 209,
214, 221, 226–227, 237, 242–244,
247–250, 257, 259, 262

Shame-rage cycle 120, 221
Shop lifting 88, 135, 199
Sibling 79, 82, 85, 95, 125 (and genetic

influences), 173
Single parent/lone parent 16, 102,
105–111, 249, 255
Social Capital 96, 149, 254
Social Class 18, 78, 151, 211, 246
Social Exclusion xx, 244, 254, 261
Social Learning Theory 24–25, 100,

160–161
Strain Theory 11–12, 19, 136–137
Subcultural theory 11–12, 19, 136–137
Suicide 42, 66, 85, 178, 199–201 (of

mothers occurring alongside
murder of children), 207, 212–213
(murder/suicide by men

Sure-Start 254–255
Sutcliffe (Peter Sutcliffe, ‘the

Yorkshire Ripper) 52–55

Teenage parent 105, 111, 252
Therapeutic Community 70, 261

White collar crime xvi, xviii, 13, 173
and criminal careers 100–101

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