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Causal Factors in Criminal and Aggressive Behavior: A Proposal for a Ten-Year Longitudinal Study (From Toward the Understanding of Criminal Behavior, 1983 -- See NCJ-110887)

NCJ Number
M M Lefkowitz
Date Published
111 pages
This proposed longitudinal study will investigate the relationship between character formation and the manifestation of criminal and aggressive behavior.
A primary focus will be the family lifestyle which plays a determining role in childrearing. The research design will permit the effects of various family lifestyles as related to the socioeconomic matrix of the family, as well as its concomitant attitudes, values, discipline, and behavior modeling, to be studied systematically. In addition to family lifestyle, heredity -- a possible proclivity for aggressive antisocial behavior -- will be examined. Additionally, the contributions of IQ, autonomic nervous system responsivity, alcoholism, minimal brain damage, and hormonal and chromosomal aberrations to character formation and violent and criminal behavior will be assessed. Findings have potential for shedding light on the multiple determinants of character formation and its relation to criminality and aggression, while also permitting a test of the diathesis-stress model of criminal behavior and the Gamezy (1982) concept of the invulnerable child, which seeks to explain how similar developmental circumstances can produce differing behavioral outcomes. 2 tables and approximately 150 references.


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