Nova Southeastern University
[CRJU 2220: Criminology
Prof. J. Brecher]
The Latent Trait Theory and Violent Crime
Developmental theories, such as the Latent Trait Theory explain criminal behavior through life-course fundamentals. Violent crimes, such as murder and battery are accordingly the result of behavior that has been shaped starting in one’s childhood. This paper explains violent behavior and it’s causes through the Latent Trait theory and gives insight into the theory’s origin, as well as highlights how criminal behavior can be rehabilitated.
The Latent Trait Theory and Violent Crime The Latent Trait Theory is a developmental theory, which explains violent crime …show more content…
Fighting is considered perpetration, and those who fight tend to have the same characteristics as those who commit violent crime; they tend to be male, they have a tendency to impulsivity and sensation seeking, and they tend to engage in alcohol and substance abuse (Farb Feldman, Grunden, Matjasko, & Needham, 2010).
Research on violence has proven that youth who do engage in violent behavior are prone to violent behavior, and they are impulsive or have difficulty controlling their temperament. Those latent traits are more likely to be found in certain ethnicities, such as African Americans, and Hispanics, but are much less common among Caucasian Americans, or Asian Americans. Therefore the Latent Trait Theory suggests that traits, such as impulsivity, low self-control, difficult temperaments, and sensation seeking are more likely be present in minorities (Farb Feldman, Grunden, Matjasko, & Needham, 2010). Another reason for latent traits that lead to criminal behavior are personality disorders, such as axis II disorders as they are specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR 2000). Disorders, such as narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder have in common that according to the Latent Trait Theory these individuals are likely to develop criminal behavior. The following symptoms are classified in the DSM-IV TR (2000) for narcissistic personality disorder