Week 1: Discussion Question 2

An important task in studying and understanding criminal behavior is identifying biological, psychological, and social (or sociological) developmental risk factors—such as weak family structure, poverty, and peer rejection—that may contribute to deviant behavior and crime. A task of criminologists, in fact, is to study developmental risk factors to gather information about the degree to which they influence criminal behavior outcomes. Risk factors have a strong and consistent relationship with criminal behavior. These risk factors are called correlates of criminal behavior. However, it does not mean that these correlates cause criminal behavior. There is no formula of correlates that consistently leads to criminal behavior. Identifying correlates, as well as developmental risk factors for particular individuals, however, might indicate the possibility of future criminal behavior and, therefore, may aid in preventing it.

For this Discussion, review the case scenario of Gary F. and the “Driving While Black: Effects of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender on Citizen Self Reports of Traffic Stops and Police Actions” article from the resources. Consider the developmental risk factors and correlates of criminal behavior. Then, select two correlates of crime and criminal behavior to compare for this Discussion.

 Post a description of the correlates you selected. Explain the differences between the correlates for criminal behavior in terms of the degree to which they contribute to and explain criminal behavior. Then, based on the case scenario about Gary F., provide a brief description of at least two developmental risk factors implied in the case scenario. Explain how each may have contributed to the criminal behavior described. Then, explain why each might contribute to criminal behavior in some individuals but not others. Finally, explain at least one conclusion you drew about the correlates for criminal behavior based on your comparison. 

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