Diverse criminal behavior theories are closely related to such sciences as sociology, biology, and psychology. As more and more studies are conducted in these fields, a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of criminal behavior is introduced. However, even though such theories had undergone significant transformations and were considerably improved, they may not always reflect reality. A wide variety of factors should be considered, including social, psychological, and biological factors. Therefore, several approaches focus on different aspects, such as strain theories, learning theories, classical and positivist theories (Burke et al., 2019). Nonetheless, I believe criminal behavior reasoning depends on the particular case and may not be fully explained by one theory.
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Even though each case may require an individual approach to criminal behavior assessment, it may be possible to correlate violent and non-violent crimes to a particular theory. Such correlation may indicate that a concrete theory may be suitable for violent crime assessment more frequently than other theories. The Chicago School identifies social disorganization as one of the explanations of criminal behavior (Burke et al., 2019). A recent study shows that social disorganization theory may explain non-violent criminal behavior better than alternative theories (Engelen et al., 2016). I think that theories focused on social factors such as social learning or labeling theories are better at explaining non-violent criminal behavior. Moreover, some studies also indicate that such biological factors as prefrontal deficit may be more pronounced in violent offenders (Meijers et al., 2017). These results may suggest that biological positivism may be more relevant in cases of violent criminal behavior. Empirical studies may show that some theories are more suitable for violent criminal behavior, whereas others correlate with non-violent behavior. However, these studies may have significant limitations, and further investigation may be required. Thus, I believe that most of the existing theories may explain both violent and non-violent criminal behavior depending on the circumstances.
Burke, A. S., Carter, D. E., Fedorek, B., Morey, T. L., Rutz-Burri, L., & Sanchez, S. (2019). Introduction to the American Criminal Justice System . Open Textbook Library.
Engelen, P.-J., Lander, M. W., & van Essen, M. (2016). What determines crime rates? An empirical test of integrated economic and sociological theories of criminal behavior. The Social Science Journal, 53(2), 247–262. Web.
Meijers, J., Harte, J. M., Meynen, G., & Cuijpers, P. (2017). Differences in executive functioning between violent and non-violent offenders. Psychological Medicine, 47(10), 1784–1793. Web.