The theories of crime are consistent with the assumption of differential outcomes about diverse offending pathways. Trajectory theory supports that society consists of both lawbreakers and law-abiding persons. According to the theory, unique reasons and life situations result in people committing crimes. I agree with the trajectory theory that there exist multiple pathways to crime. Modeling heterogeneity in developmental trajectory shows that there are distinctive offending pathways.
Biological trajectories are one of the distinctive pathways to crime. A number of people have brain abnormalities and heredity aspects that cause them to be involved in criminal behaviors. For instance, individuals exhibiting reduced brain volumes and impaired functioning are associated with criminal and antisocial behaviors (Ling et al. 630). Criminologists supporting the biological trajectories believe that a person’s biology can predispose them to criminality. Therefore, biological factors such as neurobiology and variation in autonomic arousal increase one’s likelihood of committing criminal acts.
The psychosocial trajectories indicate a correlation between personality types and specific mental illnesses with delinquent behavior. Aggression, anxiety, low intelligence, and depression are common psychosocial factors associated with criminal behaviors among children and adolescents (Sill 46). Children with anxiety disorders and aggression are associated with bullying in schools, exposing them to a high risk of delinquent behavior.
Sociological trajectories examine the role of an individual’s social surroundings on their behavior. Poor parenting, family violence, and maltreatment are among the many social factors that cause delinquent behavior among children (Sill 31). A social environment characterized by low-income neighbors and inadequate resources is likely to have criminal actions.
Behavioral trajectories emphasize the critical role a person’s early years play in shaping their life. The experiences people go through during childhood and adolescence can have lasting effects on them (Sill 35). There is empirical evidence that convicted criminals are exposed to adverse childhood events four times compared to non-criminals (Sill 37). Children manifesting behaviors such as violence, aggression, and impulsiveness at a younger age are linked to future criminal behaviors.
The trajectory theory shows that criminal behavior cannot be linked to one specific factor but a variety of them. However, some factors tend to have a higher impact on delinquent behavior than others, depending on the individuals (Walden University). One would become a criminal because of the environment they interacted with, while their biological makeup could have minimum impact on their delinquent behavior.
Ling, Shichun, Rebecca Umbach, and Adrian Raine. “Biological explanations of criminal behavior.” Psychology, Crime & Law 25.6 (2019): 626-640. Web.
Sill, Kaitlyn. “A Study of the Root Causes of Juvenile Justice System Involvement.” (2020).
Walden University. What Influences Criminal Behavior?