Theory of Delinquent, Criminal and Deviant Behaviour

Topic: Behaviorism
Words: 335 Pages: 1

The difference between delinquent and criminal behavior is determined not by the age at which criminal responsibility begins (the commission of torts can occur in adulthood) but by the degree of awareness of the individual (Malizia, 2018). Destructive-deviant people are also called asocial personalities, sociopaths. The biological causes of deviance are factors caused by diseases and medical pathologies. Also, the cause may be damage and infection of the fetus inside the mother’s womb or during childbirth. Deviations are social constructs and can be attributed to individuals, groups, or behaviors for a number of social or political purposes.

Deviant behavior deviates from the generally accepted, socially approved, most common, and well-established norms in certain communities during a certain period of their development. Unfortunately, the problem of deviant behavior has existed and continues to exist to this day. When we talk about deviant behavior, we usually mean a negative connotation of this phenomenon. However, deviations from the norm are not only a vagrant lifestyle, a passion for psychoactive substances, or gambling addiction. Deviation also implies such manifestations as a genius, sacrifice in the name of good goals. The concept of “deviation” includes both extremes, both poles, both positive and negative.

Psychological approaches to explaining deviant behavior are different and originate mainly from three theories: psychoanalytic theory, cognitive development theory, and learning theory. However, all psychological approaches to deviations have some common features. Firstly, in each of them, the main unit of analysis is the individual. From the point of view of psychology, individuals are solely responsible for their criminal or deviant actions. Secondly, a person’s personality is the main motivational element that governs people’s behavior. Thirdly, deviants are considered to suffer from personality defects, which means that deviant actions result from abnormal, dysfunctional, or inadequate mental processes in a person’s personality. Finally, these defective or abnormal mental processes can be caused by various reasons, including philosophical problems, deficiencies in education and upbringing, the lack of suitable role models, or, conversely, the strong influence of unsuitable role models.


Malizia, N. (2018). Boredom and social deviant behavior: An empirical study. Advances in Applied Sociology, 8(02), 174. DOI:10.4236/aasoci.2018.82010

This essay was written by a student and submitted to our database so that you can gain inspiration for your studies. You can use it for your writing but remember to cite it accordingly.

You are free to request the removal of your paper from our database if you are its original author and no longer want it to be published.

Teenagers' Tendency Towards Risky Behaviors
Positivistic and Constructionist Theories of Deviance