Psychological Issues in Juvenile and Adult Psychopathy Abstract

PsychologicalIssues in Juvenile and Adult Psychopathy

Abstract

Thispaper has explored the psychological issues in juvenile and adultpsychopathy. The review shows that subject of psychopathy isproblematic. Despite the misuse in different contexts, for instance,in pop media where it was used to refer to people suffering fromhysteria or depression, imbecility, or idiocy, many concurrent viewsshow that psychopaths are not conscious about what is wrong or right,and are often not aware of the harm they inflict on victims. Theattempt of understanding of psychopathy tends to be a legal battle.On one hand, psychopaths are considered evil people who should bepunished severely for their actions because they are always aware andconscious of themselves and their actions. On the other hand,psychopaths are perceived as suffering from a mental andpsychological disorder that robs them their consciousness, acondition that requires the society to understand and relent to theiractions. Behavioral science analysis mainly attributes psychopathy toproblematic experiences between the individuals and socialenvironment while growing up, which causes them to behave abnormallylater, yet the pro-nature arguments assert that psychopathy islargely a mental problem that people are predisposed. This issueraises questions about the ways in which the behaviors of thepsychopaths could be effectively accounted, judged, or evenprevented. Therefore, based on this review, there is the need forplayers to continue exploring this issue to arrive at a consensus.

PsychologicalIssues in Juvenile and Adult Psychopathy

Psychopathiccriminality is some of the elements crimes that have been largelydebated. Questions have been particularly raised on the appropriateways in which the behaviors of the psychopaths could be effectivelyaccounted, judged, or even prevented. On one hand, psychopaths areconsidered evil people who should be punished severely for theiractions because they always are aware and conscious of themselves andtheir actions. On the otherhand, psychopaths are perceived assuffering from a mental and psychological disorder that robs them oftheir consciousness, a condition that requires the society tounderstand and relent to their actions (Bartol &amp Bartol, 2011).Therefore, the subject of psychopathy is largely problematic. Thispaper explores the psychological issues in juvenile and adultpsychopathy.

UnderstandingPsychopathic Behavior

Thepsychological issues in juvenile and adult psychopathy have revolvedaround the question of what is psychopathy and the traits ofbehaviors by which one should be attributed as a psychopath. Thissubject has attracted views and definitions on the nature ofpsychopathy.

Theproblem tends to be a historical one. According to Ursano Freidmanand Norwood, (2014), the concept of psychopathy has beentraditionally used to describe the group of people whose behaviorscan be closely associated with moral insanity, imbecility, or idiocy.However, there was variation regarding the applicability of theconcept, yet there was general concurrence that psychopaths areindividuals who are unable to recognize or act appropriately in linewith the general rules and norms. The term was developed by thepsychiatry community in the 1860s but would later gain popularityamong the pop culture materials such as in movies, literature andmedia, many of which are misused it in different contexts, forinstance, in pop media where it was used to refer to people sufferingfrom hysteria or depression, imbecility, or idiocy (Ursano Freidmanand Norwood, 2014).

However,according to Schoenfeld, Neylan and Marmar (2013), psychopaths arebest profiled based on their disregard for the societal norms andexhibition of impulsive behavior and antisocial conduct, as well asthe lack of guilt or fear. Bereska (2013) supports this profilingmethod, noting psychopaths exhibit several behavioral traits. Thefirst trait is that the individuals have a limited impulse of goodcontrol and that must have to do with the person’s mental ability.Secondly, individuals are never ashamed of their actions, and are noteven sensitive to the magnitude of the resultant harm as other peopledo. Thirdly, this group of persons has difficulties in drawing linesbetween the arbitral and set out moral rules. Moreover, theindividuals tend to lack emotions, which renders the remedialmeasures so sophisticated that they are sometimes thought to benon-existent. Indeed, various examinations that have been dedicatedto studying the behaviors of the psychopaths have pointed out thisgroup of people exhibits the five mentioned traits (Bereska, 2013).

AsNichols (2012) explains, psychopaths are not conscious about what iswrong or right and are often not aware of the harm they inflict onvictims. Although they could come across what could be consideredunacceptable, they will always find difficulties in caring about theimplications. In this regard, the fact that they lack consciousnesspresents a serious problem not only to them but also to those peoplearound them (Nichols, 2012). Therefore, given that a psychopathperson is unable to understand emotions, it is hard to impartpositive behavioral changes on them through reinforcement.

TheLegal Challenge

Thepsychopathy problem issue is also a legal challenge. It is relativelydifficult to distinguish between psychopathic and other criminalelements such as deranged killers. As Becker (2013) explains, thestandard approach to ascertain that guilt is informed by a set of twoelements: men rea and actus reaus. Men rea pertains to intent tocommit the crime. On the other hand, actusreauspertains to theelement of voluntary participation in the crimes. A person would beheld responsible for having committed a crime if found to havevoluntarily participated and intended to commit the offense. Applyingthis criminality approach to psychopath serial killers implies thatthey should not be held responsible because they would not typicallyplan to do so if they were normal. However, this perspective has beenchallenged by observations that psychopaths live healthy lives,exhibiting consciousness to live a double life to the extent that itbecomes difficult to distinguish them from deranged killers. The caseof Rader, whose killing spree began as early as 1970 until he wasfinally arrested in 2005, is one of the examples that have beencited. In the court proceedings, Rader was open, unashamed, andboastful in narrating how he would choose, stalk, and kill theunsuspecting victims, and this was despite serving as a clergy.Therefore, it was difficult to judge his case because he was thoughtto have exhibited both the intent voluntarily (Becker, 2013).

TheRole of Behavioral Science Analysis in Helping to Understand theseIssues

Questionshave been raised about the cause of psychopath behaviors, as well asif and how psychopaths could be supported to live healthy lives.Behavioral science analysis mainly attributes psychopathy asproblematic experiences between the individuals and socialenvironment while growing up, which causes them to behave abnormallylater. This perspective is hinged on the behaviorist theory thatasserts human behaviors, including thinking and acting, isessentially influenced by the environment in which one is nurtured.According to Bereska (2013), it includes the trait of lacking thecapacity to distinguish between what is wrong and what is right, asfar as conventional standards are concerned, and this always has todo with the environment in which an individual was nurtured (Bereska,2013).

Indeed,Blair, Derek, and Karina (2014) note that many of the psychopathickillers are reported to have experienced many frustrations such asverbal and physical abuse, abandonment, parental neglect, and abusewhich adversely affected psychological well-being during theiryouthful stages. This view is supported by Hare (2012), who explainsmany psychopaths serial killers only engage in the incidents whenolder, a clue that their behaviors coincide with the maturation ofproblematic social development. The most widely cited case to showthat psychopath arises because of adverse experiences with theenvironment is Tedd Bundy, described as the most frightening serialkiller. Tedd, an educated and handsome law student, is described tohave murdered and stalked dozens of young women who only resembled orbehaved like a girlfriend he had broken up with in a relationship(Hare, 2012).

Nevertheless,it is also noteworthy that the account for the causes of thepsychopathy has mostly presented itself as a debate of nurture vs.nature. In contrast with pro-nurture arguments that see psychopath asthe problem of problematic relationship with the social environmentand an individual, the pro-nature arguments assert that psychopathyis largely a mental problem that people are predisposed. According toRubington andWeinberg (2013), such mental problems could result fromgenetics or brain anatomy. These divisions have further resulted inthe debate of whether it is possible to support psychopaths to leadhealthy lives (Rubington andWeinberg, 2013).

Conclusion

Inconclusion, this paper has explored the psychological issues injuvenile and adult psychopathy. Indeed, the subject of psychopathy isproblematic. These issuesare notable in three areas, that is,understanding what psychopathy entails, judging psychopathicindividuals, and attributing the cause. Despite the misuse indifferent contexts, for instance, in pop media where it was used torefer to people suffering from hysteria or depression, imbecility, oridiocy, many concurrent views show that psychopaths are not consciousabout what is wrong or right, and are often not aware of the harmthey inflict on victims.

Theattempt of understanding of psychopathy tends to be a legal battle.On one hand, psychopaths are considered evil people who should bepunished severely for their actions because they are always aware andconscious of themselves and their actions. On the other hand,psychopaths are perceived as suffering from a mental andpsychological disorder that robs them their consciousness, acondition that requires the society to understand and relent to theiractions. Behavioral science analysis mainly attributes psychopathy toproblematic experiences between the individuals and socialenvironment while growing up, which causes them to behave abnormallylater, yet the pro-nature arguments assert that psychopathy islargely a mental problem that people are predisposed. This issueraises questions about the ways in which the behaviors of thepsychopaths could be effectively accounted, judged, or evenprevented. Therefore, based on this review, there is the need forplayers to continue exploring this issue to arrive at a consensus.

References

Bartol,C. &amp Bartol, A. (2011).AnIntroduction to forensic psychology: Research and Application(2nd ed., p. 140). New York: Sage

Becker,G. (2013). Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach. Journalof Political Economy169-217.

Bereska,T. (2013). Deviance,Conformity, and Social Control.Toronto: Pearson.

Blair,J., Derek, M., and Karina, B. (2014). ThePsychopath: Emotion and the Brain.Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Hare,R. (2012). WithoutConscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopath.New York: The Guildford Press.

Nichols,S (2012). SentimentalRules: On the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgment.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rubington,E. &amp Weinberg, S. (2013). Deviance:The Interactionist Perspective.Boston: Allyn &amp Bacon.

Schoenfeld,B.,Neylan, C. &amp Marmar, R. (2013). “Current Concepts inPharmacotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”. PsychiatrServ55 (3):519-531.

UrsanoR, &amp Freidman M, Norwood, A. (2014). “Practice Guidelines forthe Treatments of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder andPosttraumatic Stress Disorder”. AmJ Psychiatry.3(11):3-31.