There are several theories that can be used to explain the antisocial behavior that shows the progression from juvenile to adult criminality. The subject can be said to be in connection to deviance, juvenile deviance, as well as criminal deviance. Deviance refers to certain behaviors that are contrary to social expectations or standards of conduct of a given society or a group. Juvenile deviance, on the other hand, refers to the antisocial behavior shown by the youths. These include the violation of juvenile laws as well as delinquent actions affecting the society and criminal acts. Lastly, criminal deviance can be explained as a violation of laws that are defined as criminality by the state, city or congress makers (Siegel & Welsh, 2014).
This paper looks at two important theories from the psychological theories. These are the conditioning theory and psychoanalytic theory.
Psychoanalytic theory covers the behavior, personality as well as childhood periods. The theory is the idea of two theorists (Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung) as they tried to explain human personality. Sigmund founded the psychoanalysis dimension, and it became the basis for this theory. The theorists outlined three components that make up individual personalities as well as affect human behavior. These components include ego, primal, desires, selfish drives and superego. For instance, they augured that individuals are born with desire for self-gratification without regarding other people. Again as the children age, ego checks on the I.d desires thus leading them to changing their behaviors. They then suppress the selfishness thus giving the youth consideration for others welfare. The last component is the superego, which weighs ego choices thus, labeling them according to revelation of right or wrong committed.
Therefore, according to psychoanalytic theory, adult criminals and juvenile delinquents are those people who lack superegos and egos. This means that, in case of weak moralistic superego, an individual can act out of primal desires thus labeling deviance as something that can be acceptable. People with poor superegos as well as ego act outside their interests thus becoming psychopaths within the modern period.
Again, Freud highlighted that personalities initiate from childhood. These behaviors include psychological imbalances and abnormal personalities and show the period when problems begin. A good example, according to Freud’s theory, would be individual regression that can get fixed within the phallic phase (that is five to three years of age) thus becoming deviant sexually.
On the other hand, such behaviors can be explained using the conditioning theory, which refers to learning from experience. This theory, unlike the previous theory, conditioning theory, explains how people learn from lifetime events that are based on perceptions, decisions as well as how the events are conducted. Therefore, these experiences as well as environmental stimuli underlie delinquency, criminality and socially acceptable behavior (Siegel & Welsh, 2014).
The theorist who came up with conditioning theory is Ivan Pavlov - a Russian. Pavlov conducted experiments while using dogs based on stimulus response, as well as reward punishment. Here, the environment acted or operated as reinforcement or punisher. The research indicated that delinquents and criminals are reinforced by their environmental conditions in being continuously devious until they are put through certain punishment (Siegel & Welsh, 2014). This indicates that law offenders would continue repeating their acts and rewards until proper punishment is administered.
In conclusion, psychoanalytic theory covers the behavior, personality as well as childhood periods. It was founded by Freud, and it covers components such as ego, I.d primal and superego. It looks at behavior and personality. On the other hand, conditioning theory deals with the experience that needs to involve punishment for rectification. All in all, the two theories, explain the cause of delinquency though the explanation and methods for rectification differ slightly.
Siegel, L., & Welsh, B. (2014). Juvenile Delinquency: Theory, Practice, and Law. Stamford: Cengage Learning.