Developmental Pathways and Violence Essay

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DEVELOPMENTAL PATHWAYS AND VIOLENCE In juvenile delinquency less serious forms of antisocial behavior precede more serious acts. This was found in research in the development of delinquency by Huizinga (1995) and Elliott (1994) who analyzed longitudinal data from the National Youth Survey. But these studies did look for developmental pathways that would show the link between nondelinquent antisocial behaviors and delinquency. Although there are at least four key developmental differences among individuals that exhibit anti-social behavior: the age-aggression/age–crime curves; desistance; developmental pathways; and developmental trajectories, this paper will discuss the theory of Loeber and colleagues that used three separate developmental pathways to track high-risk individuals and to use them to show who might express violent behavior years later. Violence usually emerges as a behavior in middle to late adolescence but there are precursor developmental antisocial behaviors that may lead to violent behavior. This behavior is on a continuum from defiance of authority to more severe forms of aggression. Each individual is different in how severe these forms of aggression manifest themselves, “some developing minor aggression only while others progress to serious and repeated violence.” This is the developmental pathway to violence and how far each individual progress on that pathway has been the subject of extensive study. Investigators focused on whether developmental sequences in problem behavior represent permanent changes in behavior. These conceptual pathways have the following features: 1) Individuals who advance down one pathway displayed behaviors of the earlier stages of the pathway. 2) Not everyone progresses to the most serious (violent) outcomes; smaller numbers of people advance to the more serious levels. 3) People who reach the
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