Theories of Crime Essay example

Theories of Crime Essay example

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Many theories of crime are macro theories, which are used to explain crime based on a large group of people or society. While macro theories are the predominant type of theory used to explain crime, there are also a variety of “individual”, or micro, factors which are equally important. Two such individual factors s are maternal cigarette smoking (MCS) and cognitive ability, or Intelligence Quotient (IQ).

MCS has been shown to negatively impact the neurological development of a fetus, with serious damage to the nervous system. Medical studies have also concluded that smoking during pregnancy is a known cause of fetal hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, which can stunt fetal brain development. Studies have suggested that these physical impacts can stunt the development of cognitive abilities and cause anti-social behavior, which in turn can be linked to criminal behavior. (Piquero, Gibson, et al, 2002, Pg. 232) In 1999, a study conducted by Patricia Brennan concluded that maternal cigarette smoking was a predictor for both violent and nonviolent crime. (Piquero, Gibson, et al, 2002, Pg. 235) This study also concluded that a lack of cognitive abilities due to maternal cigarette smoking can lead to the development of antisocial behavior. Children who suffer from these effects grow into adults who are less likely to resist the temptation of crime and show signs of deviant behavior.

Cognitive abilities, or our IQ, are basic skills which enable us to learn, solve problems, and carry out simple tasks. Cognitive ability is important when attempting to explain crime because it has been suggested that individuals with low cognitive ability may not be able to understand the lasting effects or consequences associated with their action...

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.... (2006). Empirical Status of Deterrence Theory: A meta-analysis. Transaction Publications, Volume 15, 367-395.
McGloin, P. a. (2004). Rethinking the IQ-Delinquency Relationship: a Longitudinal Analysis of Multiple Theoretical Models. Justice Quarterly, 604-635.
Pratt, M. a. (2006). Maternal Cigarette Smoking During Pregnancy and Criminal Deviant Behavior. International Journal of Offender Therapy, 231-248.
Pratt, T. C., & Cullen, F. T. (2005). Assessing Macro-Level Theories and Predictors of Crime. Crime and Justice, Volume 32, 373-450.
Pratt, T. C., & Godsey, T. W. (2003). Social Support, Inequality, and Homicide: A Cross National Test of Integrated Theoretical Model. Criminology, Volume 1, 611-632.
Unnever, C. a. (2003). Parental Management, ADHD, and Delinquent Involvement: Reassessing Gottfredson and Hirschis General Theory. Justice Quarterly, 472-500.

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