Psychology of Crime: Psychoanalytic Theories

Criminal behavior is a multifaceted issue that results from diverse causes. It is through the understanding of social, biological, environmental and psychological causes as well as correlates that crime and violent behavior can be understood. As a developmental process, crime and violence are likely to begin during childhood, proceed to adolescence and even into adulthood (Louw, n. d. ). Early human development is shaped by the kind of parental skills that a person experiences and in turn shape the person’s ability to deal with day to day crisis through to adulthood.

The pattern of relation with the others helps in transition from childhood to adulthood and in shaping personality e. g. correlation with family for instance father’s absence, social experiences, educational proficiency etc. The factors are the resources that contribute to the person’s development and in addition relation with those he or she interacts with (Vigil, Geary & Byrd-Craven, 2005). In the case of Mary, there is a connection between her childhood and her current criminal behavior in adolescence.

Mary is just a teenager but she is involved in violence and crime and this is associated with her family background and parental attachment. Psychoanalysis of Mary’s Behavior There are various theories that have been developed by psychologists to describe personality traits of diverse groups of people. The personality traits that have been described by psychologists describe the typical behaviors or characteristics of individuals in terms of their feelings, thoughts and actions.

Generally, the basic assumptions that psychologists have noted include: the assumption that personality traits are somewhat stable hence can be predicted over time, that personality traits can be predicted across varied settings, and that personality traits combine in a manner that each individual is different from the other thus no two people can be exactly the same. Sigmund Freud was the first theorist to develop a psychoanalysis theory that facilitated for the understanding of human psychology as well as mental development and personality structure (Cassel & Bernstein, 2007, p.

78). Psychoanalysis includes scientific understanding of human behavior based on the process of development. Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis forms the foundation of interpreting personality and behaviors of human beings. The environment of development shapes the person’s behavior through interaction with those in that environment and therefore, it is the same environment that fashions personality of each individual (Corey, 2008).

Freud in his theory articulated that there are psychodynamic forces that determine an individual’s feelings, thoughts and behaviors. The theory is essential in analyzing human behaviors in fields such as psychiatry, psychology, criminology etc. Freud believed that aggressive together with sexual instincts are inborn and they influence the development of the personalities of these groups of people.

The instincts drive people to desire security, love, achievement etc but restraints hinder them from achieving these needs. One restraint is the individual’s caregivers while the other restraints are peers, siblings, and societal laws and norms (Cassel & Bernstein, 2007, p. 80). Mary’s personality can therefore be explained based on the environment in which she was exposed to during childhood. The influence of her caregivers (her father, mother and step mother) played a vital in shaping Mary’s personality.