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Rationale Choice and Trait Theory

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Do you agree more with the Rationale Choice Theory or with trait theories? Please explain and use examples. Both rationale choice theory and trait theories paint an accurate reasoning behind delinquent behavior. However, trait theory seems to be the theory that I agree with most. There are pathways to delinquency that should be looked at closely. For example, a child is born into a home in which both mom and dad are alcoholics and do not supervise their child. Eventually, this child begins to get older and enters into an authority conflict pathway. This means that the child displays stubborn behavior before the child is twelve. Next, defiance and disobedience occur followed by authority avoidance i.e. running away, truancy, etc. From this point they then either go to an overt or covert pathway which leads to violence or moderate to serious delinquency. In other words, this leads to a delinquent criminal career. I believe that a child born with parents that do not provide stability, morals, and values could follow the delinquent criminal career pathway.

Another example that could lead someone to believe the trait theory is more accurate than rational choice theory is Cesare Lambroso’s research. Cesare, who is the father of criminology, researched the biological aspect and called it, sociobiology. Sociobiology suggests that delinquent behavior will adapt to the environment in which they evolved. He believes, environmental factors can cause a person to commit crime. On a biosocial standpoint there are two factors that can influence thought and behavior in delinquency. First biochemical factors and second Neurological damage can cause the delinquency. During the teenage years research does suggest the amygdala overpowers the activity of the frontal lobe. What does this mean? It means teens may do acts of delinquency without thinking first because they do not have the impulse control like adults have.

Further, Cesare suggests that a lot of delinquents have psychological problem such as destructive relationships, problems with authority figures, or poor family lives. The psychodynamic theory suggests human personality is controlled by preexisting unconscious mental processes developed at birth. For example, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, mood disorder, and bipolar disorder (2011). After careful consideration of both rational and trait theory hands down trait theory would be my choice of why delinquent acts occur.

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