The Developmental Theories Essay

1433 words - 6 pages

Developmental theories are broken up into two perspectives; Life-course, and Latent Trait. These perspectives may answer questions on why juveniles have grown to lead a destructive life-style and why others grow out of their delinquency. Latent trait explains that some tendencies we are may be born with and how important it is to be there for our children. Our parenting skills do have a profound effect on how our children may lack self control or have an impulsive behavior.
The life course perspective takes places as we grow and learn more in life. The person’s life can go either way for the better or for the worse. Starting as a child we go through experiences that can have life altering changes in our lives. Sometimes it will lead us into a dramatic change that we may pick crime instead of dealing with the experience. According to the Florida department of education there are two main concepts; trajectories and transitions. “A trajectory is a pathway over the life course, which involves long-term patterns of events, such as employment or family history. A transition, in contrast, involves the short-term events, or turning points, that make up specific life changes, such as marriage, divorce, or parenthood.” (FDE) Laub and Sampson helped identify what can help adult offenders stray away from crime. Trajectories refer to long term patterns and transition refers to short term pattern. Both trajectory and transition can either be positive or negative in ones path in life.
Sampson and Laub came up with their own theory under life-course. The age-graded theory, suggests that those individuals who have deviated on life’s path have either broken or weaken their social bonds with society. Sampson and Laub also believe the life of crime starts at a young age, except it can be broken by a life changing event. For example; getting married, or having a child. It is also the belief that those bonds that are broken or weakened can be repaired. “The greater the social capital the stronger the informal social control, which in turn increases an individual’s potential to follow a non-criminal trajectory. Particular institutions of social control, such as school, employment, and family change throughout the life course in their ability to affect an individual’s behavior due to the amount of social capital they provide.” (FDE)
Terrie Moffitt came up with different theories that underline the life course perspective. Moffitt turned to antisocial behavior starting long before a child is old enough to start their life crime. Moffitt suggests that looking at police figures and data that when a child matures their life of crime decreases by nearly 50% by the time they’ve reached their 20s. Many offenders hit their peak of crime while still teenagers. He has seen that a small group of individuals with antisocial behavior and an engaging life of crime, which he calls “life-course-persistent.” On the other side there is the large group who has antisocial behavior and a...

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