Psychological Disorders, Chapter 14 ( Book Psychology in Your Life, Third Edition, Grison & Gazzaniga)

Posted on: 16th May 2023


Paper detalis:

1. Pros and cons of providing children who score highly on the Psychopathy checklist-Youth version(PCL-YV) with counseling as a preventive measure, regardless of whether they have committed a crime. Should the PCL-YV be administered to all schoolchildren at regular intervals?
2. Personality traits tend to stay relatively stable over time and across situations. Discuss the possibility of psychopathic tendencies in children and adolescents remaining though adulthood and resulting in criminal activity.

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Psychological Disorders

Question 1

Counseling as a preventive measure for children does not result in any beneficial effects on the incidence of violent and other antisocial behavior. But counseling and other interventions may be effective when applied to young offenders who have committed crimes but do not score highly on the PCL-YV. The PCL-YV is designed primarily as an instrument for use with high-risk populations such as young offenders and other criminals. The PCL-YV may thus be a valuable tool for identifying youths at risk of chronic offending from an early age. But the problem with this strategy is the lack of evidence concerning its effectiveness, and the fact that it risks stigmatizing children who are not yet known to have committed any crimes (Grison and Gazzaniga 157). Therefore, if the primary purpose of using the PCL-YV is to identify prospective offenders, then the argument favoring the method must be based on specificity. That is based on the fact that all people who commit severe crimes have high scores on the measurements. However, the youths can be differentiated from other high-risk groups, like individuals who are psychiatrically disturbed.

Question 2

Many factors explain psychopathic behavior in both children and adolescents, which can continue through adulthood and contribute to criminal activities. That is well explained by the fact that individual traits tend to remain constant at all times and in different circumstances. In addition, the behavior of children and adolescents has always been of interest to the public. Therefore, it is no surprise that children are described as “immoral, cruel, and malicious” (Grison and Gazzaniga 23). However, some children exhibit behaviors that may be described as psychopathic. This term is used to describe individuals who display a pattern of antisocial behaviors, including lying, stealing, and physical violence without empathy. These characteristics may affect an individual into adulthood, resulting in criminal activity later on in life. Many theorists believe that these tendencies may stem from childhood experiences as well as biological factors.

Some theorists believe that psychopathic children may have been born with a specific gene that predisposes them to antisocial behavior. This genetic theory explains why some children display these tendencies from birth and continue to do so throughout their life, whereas others do not develop the disorder. However, many researchers have argued against this idea based on the results of studies that show no significant difference between adopted-away offspring of affected parents and those who live with their biological parents. Therefore, it seems unlikely that psychopaths are born with this disorder; rather, it seems to develop throughout childhood due to early experiences or environmental factors. Moreover, psychopathic traits are linked with a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse during childhood (Grison and Gazzaniga 13). Some researchers believe that children who have been maltreated from an early age develop psychopathic tendencies to cope with the distress they experience. In this sense, these children have a degree of maladaptation, leading to the development of these behaviors. Socioeconomic status and poor parenting have some connection with psychopathic tendencies. This idea is supported by evidence that suggests that offenders are more likely to have grown up in poverty-stricken areas and experienced problems with parents or guardians. In addition, the poor quality of parenting may be due to the lack of empathy shown by the parent towards their child, which could produce similar effects (Grison and Gazzaniga 16). However, it has also been argued that this is not a direct cause. Individuals who display these tendencies are more likely to engage in criminal activity because they believe themselves as invincible or immune from punishment.

Works Cited

Grison, Sarah, and Michael S. Gazzaniga. Psychology in Your Life.Third edition (July 1, 2019)

Hannah Preston

Hannah Preston

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