The Psychopathology of Crime

The Psychopathology of Crime

Criminal Behavior as a Clinical Disorder

1st Edition - April 1, 1997

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  • Author: Adrian Raine
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780125761550

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This lauded bestseller, now available in paperback, takes an uncompromising look at how we define psychopathology and makes the argument that criminal behavior can and perhaps should be considered a disorder. Presenting sociological, genetic, neurochemical, brain-imaging, and psychophysiological evidence, it discusses the basis for criminal behavior and suggests, contrary to popular belief, that such behavior may be more biologically determined than previously thought.

Key Features

  • Presents a new conceptual approach to understanding crime as a disorder
  • Provides the most extensive review of biological predispositions to criminal behavior to date
  • Presents the practical implications of viewing crime as a psychopathology in the contexts of free will, punishment, treatment, and future biosocial research
  • Includes numerous tables and figures throughout
  • Contains an extensive reference list
  • Analyzes the familial and extra-familial causes of crime
  • Reviews the predispositions to crime including evolution and genetics, and the neuropsychological, psychophysiological, brain-imaging, neurochemical, and cognitive factors


Researchers, professors, graduate and advanced undergraduate students in sociology, social psychology/personality, clinical psychology, criminal justice, social work, cognition, and genetics.

Table of Contents

  • Preface.
    Chapter 1. Crime and the Nature of Psychopathology:
    Defining Psychopathology.
    Overview of Definitions and Their Fit to Criminal Behavior.
    Construct Validity Approach to Psychopathology.
    Chapter 2. Crime in the Context of Evolution:
    Concepts in Sociobiolical Theory.
    The Prisoners' Dilemma.
    Suckers, Cheats and Grudgers.
    The Survival of Cheats.
    Subtle Cheats.
    Anthropological Studies.
    Sociobiological Theories of Antisocial Personality Disorder.
    Rape and Homicide.
    Evaluation of Evolutionary Perspectives.
    Chapter 3. Genetics and Crime:
    Ten Misconceptions about the Genetics of Crime.
    Twin Methodology.
    Evidence from Twin Studies.
    Limitations of Twin Studies.
    Identical Twins Reared Apart.
    Adoption Study Methodology.
    Evidence from Adoption Studies.
    Key Questions for Genetics Research on Crime.
    Chapter 4. Neurochemistry:
    General Introduction.
    Introduction to Neurotransmitters.
    Drug Manipulation of Neurotransmitters in Humans.
    Meta-analysis of Neurotransmitter Levels in Antisocial Populations.
    Discussion of Key Findings.
    Integration of Neurochemical Research with Existing Perspectives on Antisocial Behavior.
    Recommendations for Future Neurochemical Research.
    Chapter 5. Neuropsychology:
    General Introduction.
    Introduction to Neuropsychology.
    Limitations in the Application of Neuropsychological Methods to Crime.
    Frontal Dysfunction.
    Left Hemisphere Dysfunction.
    Reduced Lateralization for Linguistic Functions.
    Other Brain Sites and Crime.
    Psychosurgery and Crime.
    Conceptual Issues in Neuropsychological Research on Crime.
    Chapter 6. Brain Imaging:
    Techniques in Brain Imaging.
    Computerized Tomography Studies of Crime and Violence.
    Positron Emission Tomography and Regional Cerebral Blood Flow Studies of Crime and Violence.
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies of Crime and Violence.
    Reduced Prefrontal Glucose Metabolism in Murders.
    Overview of Brain Imaging Studies: Frontal Dysfunction in Violent Offenders and Temporal Dysfunction in Sexual Offenders?
    Theoretical Interpretations of Prefrontal Dysfunction.
    Applications and Implications of Brain Imaging Research.
    Chapter 7. Psychophysiology:
    General Introduction.
    Introduction to Psychophisiology.
    Skin Conductance and Crime.
    Heart Rate and Crime.
    Electroencephalogram and Crime.
    Event-Related Potential Studies.
    Prospective Psychophysiological Studies of Crime.
    Disinhibited Temperament and Psychophysiological Underarousal.
    Future Developments: The Nature of the Interaction between Psychophysiological and Social Predispositions for Crime.
    Chapter 8. Other Biological Factors: Head Injury, Pregnancy, and Birth Complications, Physical Appearance, Hormones, Diet, and Lead:
    Head Injury.
    Birth Complications.
    Fetal Maldevelopment and Minor Physical Anomalies.
    Physical Attraction/Disability and Cosmetic Surgery.
    Body Build.
    Premenstrual Syndrome and Crime.
    Chapter 9. Cognitive Deficits:
    Classical Conditioning and Crime.
    Avoidance Learning and Crime.
    Oversensitivity to Rewards.
    General Comments on Classical Conditioning and Avoidance Learning Deficits in Criminals.
    Fear Dissipation and Skin Conductance Half-Recovery Time in Criminals.
    Learning Disability.
    Moral Reasoning.
    Social Information Processing.
    Chapter 10. Familial Influences:
    Parental Criminality.
    Child Abuse.
    Parental Absence.
    Family Management and Discipline.
    Marital Conflict.
    Size and Significance of Familial Correlates of Crime.
    Chapter 11. Extrafamilial Influences:
    Peer and School Factors.
    Family Size.
    Social Class.
    Unemployment and Low Income.
    Urban Living/Poor Housing.
    The Cycle of Social Dysfunction in Criminals.
    Chapter 12. Is Crime a Disorder?
    Fit of Definitions of Disorder to Research Findings on Crime.
    Arguments against the Notion That Crime Is a Disorder and Their Associated Counterarguments.
    Societal and Sociobiological Barriers to Accepting Crime as a Disorder.
    Constraints on Free Will.
    Crime as a Disorder and the Status of Biological Research.
    Suggestions of Racist Undertones to Biological Research on Crime.
    Future Directions in Criminality Research.
    Concluding Statement.
    Author Index.
    Subject Index.

Product details

  • No. of pages: 377
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1997
  • Published: April 1, 1997
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780125761550

About the Author

Adrian Raine

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