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What Causes Criminal Behavior Essay

1197 words - 5 pages

Criminologists studied criminal behavior for many years. In fact, criminologists have come up with many different answers and theories as to why individual actually commits crimes. Even though there are many differences each answer and theory helps assists the legal system with deterring such criminal activity. One of the most costly forms of crime; white collar, shows many distinct characteristics that can be placed in a criminal profile. Upon the use of theories and profiles; determination can be made as to why individual commits white collar crimes.
Individual Engagement in Criminal Activity
Crime occurs, but the puzzling question is why people engage in criminal behavior. An individual does not just decide to get out of bed one day and decide that they are going to commit a crime. Most crimes take lots of planning while others only happens with no thought process at all. Criminal behavior has been studied for many years and have determined that there are very many different answers that are deemed the correct response. Some may think that poverty is the main root of criminal behavior. However, there are also many wealthy individuals involved in criminal activity. This holds true in many white collar crimes. Some many still believe that poverty plays a role since there are many individuals looking for a better life and try to take the easy way out. Poverty does seem to have some role in the process since the wealthy want to stay wealthy and those that are poor want to be rich. Individuals also commit crimes for other reasons too. These can range from social, cultural, and economic reasons. Socially, individuals commit crimes due to influences from peers while cultural reasons include hatred towards another group. As discussed earlier; economics reasons include poverty. There are even some individuals that commit crimes due to mental issues while some commit them because they just want to see what would happen. Many different factors can contribute to what causes individuals to commit crimes.
Theoretical Explanations
Further into history, criminologists have examined even more reasoning behind individuals committing crimes. Criminologists have found many factors that contribute to criminal activity by means of social, biological, mental and economic factors. Studies have even shown that other factors have even contributed to an individual committing a crime. Some may even commit crimes because they just want to. These individuals plan out their crime in depth beforehand. With more and more studies conducted; theories have been discovered as to why there is crime. These are known as the General Strain, Self Control, and Life Course. The General Strain Theory was developed by Agnew. Agnew explains the General Strain Theory as crime is caused by the “strain” that each individual faces over the span of their life (Agnew, 1992, pp. 47-87). “Strain or pressure is placed upon certain persons in the society to engage in nonconformist...

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