Can a Child Commit a Crime with Crimina Essay

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Can a Child Commit a Crime with Criminal Intent?
RUNNING HEADER Can a Child Commit a Crime with Criminal Intent?
Can a Child Commit a Crime with Criminal Intent?
Edward W. Hargrave
Forum 3 Case Study
Liberty University
PSYC 210
Can a Child Commit a Crime with Criminal Intent?
Criminal intent by definition means, the intent to do something wrong or forbidden by law…intent refers to the state of mind accompanying an act…it is the outline of the mental pattern which is necessary to do the crime” (Criminal Intent). The question in this situation is whether it is or it is not possible for a child to commit a crime with criminal intent. I believe the answer to this particular question can be found in the argumentation within several of the factors that we have studied thus far in this course. These factors mentioned being biosocial, cognitive, and psychosocial growth.
This particular little boy is considered to be in the stage of the ‘play years’, which is when children are between the ages of 2 and 6 years. As a 6-year-old child, his brain has not fully developed. The process of lateralization, which is when both the right and the left sides of the brain are being connected, has not yet been completed. The right hemisphere of the brain is engaged in reasoning, analyzing, and logical thinking and the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for emotions, constant, and communication. According to the PowerPoint presentation, a child within this stage has insufficient muscle control along with lacking patience and the judgment in certain situations. In this particular case, injury control/harm reduction practices should have been set in motion so that the child would not have had access to the weapon in the first place.
Piaget said that children between the ages of 2 and 6 years were considered to have preoperational intelligence, which means that the child is not ready for logical operations or reasoning. He also described children in this stage to be egocentric. If this is so, the child can only view the world solely from his own perspective.
Biosocial Development
Children experience rapid brain growth. The areas of the brain most developed by age 6 are the areas associated with motor and sensory skills, and while myelination helps in the faster data processing in the brain, a six-year-old still has difficulty in quick and efficient thinking. (Berger, 2011, pp. 212-213)
The Executive Brain
The impulsiveness of the young boy in our case study can be understood by the fact that the prefrontal cortex is not yet fully developed. Experience goes hand in hand with brain development and our case study indicates the child’s home environment played an important role in this child’s actions. His inefficient tho ught process may have been caused by severe abuse, if not by observation of the adults in his life. (Berger, 2011 pp. 215-218)
Cognitive Development
The child could not think logically in his decision to take a gun to scare another child because at a cognitive level, he is functioning with preoperational intelligence. At this stage he does not come to logical decisions, but uses language and symbolic thinking very well. (Berger, 2011 p. 237)
Social Learning
We also see in effect Vygotsky’s apprentice in thinking theory. The adults surrounding our case study acted as mentors for better or worse of this child and it is very likely that the adult’s actions and speech provided the scaffolding for his…