Category Archives: Upbringing

Wikström and Tafel, (2003): The Peterborough Youth Study

Wikström and Tafel, (2003): The Peterborough Youth Study


This study focuses on upbringing in the development of criminality.

How does poverty and disadvantaged neighbourhoods affect such development?

Crime is often perceived as more common occurrence among the poor and working classes, however, in considering what is ‘poor’ simply measuring economic wealth is not enough: other measures such as social factors and education must be taken into account, in order to gain a more complete understanding of poverty.
Continue reading Wikström and Tafel, (2003): The Peterborough Youth Study

Sutherland (1947): Theory of Differential Association

Sutherland, (1947): Theory of Differential Association

Background and Theory

The background to this study is Bandura (1961, 1977) and his Social Learning Theory.

Quick recap of Social Learning Theory:

  • Vicarious Learning (Learning from others being rewarded or punished)
  • People we learn from are called models
  • Learning does not always result from direct actions

Therefore, Sutherland assumes that criminal behaviour is learnt. Secondly, it explains deviant behaviour through individuals social interactions and relationships. According to this theory, the people who become criminals do so because they associate with other criminals.

This study is categorised into Upbringing, and then ‘learning from others.’

Continue reading Sutherland (1947): Theory of Differential Association

Farrington et al (1994) Disrupted Families

Farrington et al,. (1994) – ‘Criminal careers and life success: new findings from the Cambridge study in Delinquent Development,’ Home Office Findings 281.




This is the first study we will be looking at from the ‘Upbringing’ section of ‘Turning to Crime’, as part of your OCR A2 Forensic Psychology course. It is further categorised into ‘Disrupted Families.

Why do people become criminals? Are criminals inartistically different to law-abiding citizens? One reason may be due to the upbringing  of those individuals who turn to crime. Large families, neglect, parental relationships, conflict and the style of parental discipline may have adverse effects upon the young, which may lead them to crime. For example, if parents are inconsistent with their discipline, that is, not consistently punishing behaviour with sanctions of equal value, then the child may learn to disregard the rules as transcending them does not always yield punishment, thus leading to crime in later life. John Bowlby (1907-1990) theorised that maternal deprivation of the child may lead to dysfunctional delinquency in later life. Continue reading Farrington et al (1994) Disrupted Families