Criminal law

Family Violence

Description: Compare and contrast the four types of family violence (intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, elder abuse, and animal cruelty), discussing both theoretical origins and psychological aspects. How do these types of family violence relate to each other?


Peer response 1

Heide & Solomon said:

 “The criminal justice system is based on the foundation of a rational man who makes conscious decisions before acting. For hundreds of years, the legal system has been guided by the premise that human beings are to be held accountable for their behaviour because they have choices. What if the range of choices is limited, or severely compromised, in certain situations for some individuals who have sustained severe trauma and have been significantly affected by it?” (2006, p.230).


It would appear that the traumatized person remains a victim… someone at a loss, due to the inability to have developed the needed effective coping mechanism. Survival has become a challenge to merely exist opposed to having the pursuits of happiness from having to live.

Research of Heide & Solomon, saw a disconnection of the body, mind and affect, when there are states of traumatic experiences. These experiences of neglect, trauma, or long term physical or psychological abuse, occurring in childhood development, may have life-threatening results. Poor coping mechanism, juvenile delinquency, antisocial behavior and other deviant acts throughout adolescence and adulthood persist. Dealing with life, attempting to communicate ones feelings of disappointment, remorse, pain, or happiness, become extremely hard to express, (2006, p.229). Abuse does not discriminate… it destroys relationships, leaving gaps and fissures in one’s life, which are hard to repair.


Theoretical  Origins and Psychological aspects

Intimate Partner Violence = power struggle “issue of domination and control”, (Kaighobadi et al, 2009 p.330.)

> “Social and cultural theories attribute domestic violence to social structure and cultural values.

> Feminist theories of IPV are based on women’s social and cultural experiences.

> Family-based theories blame violent behaviors on the structure of the family and family interactions rather than on an individual within a family.

> Individual-based theories attribute IPV to psychological problems such as personality disorders, the offender’s childhood experiences, or biological disposition”, (IPV, 2013)

Child Maltreatment   Child development in regards to home, school, peers, religion, etc. are compromised due to abuse. Psychological delays noted in biological development, socialization, communication, and affect, (ex. Bedwetting, hyperactive, depression, anxiety, abdominal pain, truancy, bullying, drug use). Per Stith et al, “Ecological theory (Bronfenbrenner) considers each level as relevant to child development”, (2006, p. 15).

Theories center on biological-(neglect in parent child relationship); control (parent anger-hyper child); and conflict (socio-econ- low income).

> Social learning theory-  sometimes called the cycle of violence. Most parents that are abusers were also abused as a child. Per Burnight, &Mosqueda, “violence is a learned behavior passed on through the generations”, (2011, p. 9).

> Social and cultural theories- parents’ social structure and cultural values regarding child rising are explored. Attributed to violence, neglect, ignorance,

> Self- control theory – Parents has poor impulse control- anger erupts, taken out on child.

> Attachment Theory – centers on the bonds and relationships formed  between child and parent/caregiver.  Centers on emotions. Ex: a child separated from the parent can cause anxiety in child

> Self-Efficacy Theory- Bandura (motivation). Due to lack of motivation child may not succeed (negativity effects school and life in general).

Animal cruelty “Animal abuse in the form of neglect is often one of the first indicators of distress in the household. Whether owing to lack of empathy, mental illness, or substance abuse, a person who fails to provide minimal care for the family pet is more likely to neglect the basic needs of other dependents in the household. In many cases, children found living among the squalor of neglected pets are taken into foster care.  Animal hoarding is an extreme example of how life-threatening neglect affects both people and animals. By the time an animal hoarding situation is discovered, the unsanitary conditions and lack of care may have killed a large number of the animals and compromised the health of dependent children or elders in the household”, ( Humane Society, 2018).

“In both domestic violence and child-abuse situations, abusers may manipulate and control their human victims through threatened or actual violence against family pets.         Of those arrested for animal crimes, 65% had been arrested for battery against another person”, (Humane Society, 2008).

Elder Abuse (harm, older adult, and trust relationship)

Burnight  &Mosqueda  “ Interpersonal theory measures stress of caretaker and elderly person. Not always an accepted theory as it may look like “it blames victims, and legitimates abusers, (2011, p.8).

> Social Learning Theory (Bandura)

> Social Exchange Theory “The person who is perceived as contributing most to the relationship has the power advantage. The person with the power advantage is able to manipulate the behavior of the dependent person”, (2011, p.11).


How they relate to each other

  1. “Multiple studies have found that mass murders have also abused animals.
  2. The child protection movement originated in the animal protection field: the first child abuse cases were prosecuted by societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals
  3. Animal abuse as a frequent indicator and predictor of polyvictimization, and one of the earliest symptoms of conduct disorder, often manifesting as young as 6.5 years of age (Frick et al., 1993
  4. Animal neglect coexisting with a client’s inability to care for himself/herself, indicating that reports of animal neglect may be an important warning sign for self-neglect by vulnerable adults (Lockwood, 2002)”, (Arkow, 2015).


(In one paragraph respond to this peer response)




Description: Discuss the psychological problems or disorders that are associated with juvenile delinquency. How do these disorders correlate with theories of delinquency development?


Peer response 2

Terrie Moffitt Distinguished the Pathways To Adolescent-Limited Offender

Terrie Moffitt distinguished the pathways to the adolescent-limited offender (AL) and the life-course-persistent (LCP) juvenile delinquent. According to Social Issues Reference, (n.d.), the AL juvenile offender shows no signs of delinquent and/or antisocial behavior until adolescence and it usually stops at the completion of the adolescence stage. According to Regis (2013), “LCP offenders exhibit neurological problems in childhood, including difficult temperament and ADHD, as well as judgment and problem-solving difficulties” and have a persistent variety of delinquent and/or antisocial behavior over the course of their lives (Regis University, 2013). In contrast, the AL offender’s behaviors are chalked-up to experimentation and adolescent behaviors (Social Issues Reference, n.d.),

Accordingly, psychological disorders associated with the LCP juvenile offender are attentionattention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD). In evolving psychosis, ADHD is a precursor, diagnosed in young children, to ODD, usually diagnosed in children between eight and twelve, and can run concurrently with the ADHD diagnosis. Additionally, in evolving psychosis, ODD can be a precursor to CD, and eventually, an antisocial personality disorder diagnosed in adults. However, with intervention, in some cases, the disorders have a good prognosis.

Attention Deficit Disorder

Children diagnosed with ADHD are unorganized, easily distracted, often loses things, and have issues sitting still. According to Wilkes, (2017), attention deficit disorder, is diagnosed in young children before the age of twelve. The disorder characteristics consist of difficulties in maintaining attention, completing tasks, and remembering. Children diagnosed with ADHD may also participate in antisocial behaviors. In most cases, proper intervention symptoms can be managed with proper medication and therapy. According to Ghosh, S., & Sinha, M. (2012) if ADHD is left untreated it may evolve into ODD. In the prepubescent stage of adolescence, a child may be diagnosed with both ADHD and ODD.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

There are several behaviors and symptoms associated with ODD including the aggressive types. According to Lubit, (2015) warning sign of ODD are irritability, loss of temper, anger, resentfulness, disobedience, defiance, the projection of blame, spiteful, vindictive, touchy, and the intention annoyance of others. Obviously, from reading the paragraph on ADHD, with the evolution of psychosis the behaviors also escalate, and the child continues to participate in antisocial behavior.

Conduct Disorder (CD)

CD is diagnosed in adolescence and is an evolved form of ODD. According to Berstein, (2016), Behaviors associated with CD encompass 4 categories, aggression towards people and animals, destruction of property, dishonesty, and serious rule violations. The continuing violation of social norms and participation in antisocial behavior places juveniles diagnosed with CD at risk for other more serious mental health disorders including antisocial personality disorder and LCP (Washburn, J. J.,2007).


(In one paragraph respond to this peer response)


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