What Influences The Criminal Behavior?

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Criminal behavior is frequently a tough issue because many aspects must be considered to define and comprehend the notion. What exactly is criminal behavior? “A criminal act happens when motivation, a means, and an opportunity exist.


There are several types of criminal behavior. That explains why a criminal frequently engages in various unlawful or illegal actions. However, most criminologists feel that a person’s habit of working in illegal methods is not due to a single reason or factor. According to experts, a criminal mind must be a combination of influencing variables.

Genetic Makeup

We can’t pick our eye color, and we can’t choose our brain’s chemical makeup. It can put us at risk for various consequences, ranging from clinical depression to epilepsy. Some criminologists suggested that our biology can be a reason for our criminal behavior.

Biological differences in autonomic arousal, neurobiology, and neuroendocrine functioning greatly influence criminal behaviors.


Research for biological causes of criminal behavior became easier as medical technology has advanced. Robert Hare, a psychologist, discovered a link between certain brain activities and antisocial conduct in 1986.

He discovered that criminals had a lower brain response to threatening situations than the general population. He argued that such a brain function could lead to higher risk-taking in life, with some criminals not fearing punishment as much as others.

Hormones are biological chemicals that influence how organs operate. Researchers also investigated the link between hormones like testosterone and cortisol and criminal behavior. Testosterone is a sex hormone produced by male sexual organs that promotes the development of masculine physical characteristics. Cortisol influences how quickly the digestive system metabolizes food.

Higher cortisol levels cause more glucose to be delivered to the brain for more energy in times of stress or danger. Animal research revealed a substantial correlation between high testosterone levels and aggressive behavior.

Negative Childhood Experiences

We can’t pick our genetics, and we can’t control how we’re raised as children. Some of us had happy, even ideal, childhoods, while others did not. Children raised in unfavorable circumstances are more likely to engage in criminal activity as adolescents and adults. Convicted criminals are four times more likely than non-criminals to have suffered bad childhood events.

Female participants were more likely to demonstrate internalizing disorders such as sadness, social withdrawal, and anxiety during middle childhood, which elevated their risk of adult crime, according to their physical and emotional abuse histories. On the other hand, male participants were more likely to demonstrate externalizing behavioral problems throughout middle childhood, such as violence, anger, and delinquency, linked to adult criminal behavior.

Economic Conditions

Undoubtedly, it is the most important motivation for criminal activity. People from poor origins are more likely than others to commit crimes and appear in our courts.


Several researchers claimed that offenders were regular people of all races significantly influenced by their areas’ poverty and social instability. They believed that such a deplorable social and economic climate might breed all kinds of criminality.

Physical abnormalities

Criminals, according to criminologists, have smaller heads, sloping foreheads, large jaws and ears, and particular heights and weights. The race was another deciding element. Some criminologists considered criminals less human than law-abiding individuals, more akin to savages or primitive humans.

Lombroso did discover several characteristics that are still essential in the twenty-first century, such as the prevalence of brain traumas. Later studies revealed that brain traumas frequently impair a person’s ability to control aggressive outbursts.

Child Abuse

One possible explanation for the large impacts is that children who have experienced maltreatment begin engaging in criminal behavior earlier, an idea that appears to be confirmed by the studies cited by the authors.

Children who were abused are at higher risk of getting arrested as adolescents and adults. Engaging in criminal conduct at a young age may raise unlawful human capital by increasing experience in criminal activities while decreasing human capital in normal activities such as schooling or labor market participation. It would enhance criminal bias even further.

Child maltreatment roughly doubles an individual’s likelihood of engaging in numerous sorts of crime even when comparing twins, one of whom was abused while the other was not.

Lack of Family support

One of the most typical characteristics is a lack of emotional and physical support from one’s family. A person’s family lacks problem-solving skills and frequently cannot communicate properly. Family members cannot frequently express their emotions appropriately. Most of the time, they are also involved in criminal behavior.

Based on the quality of early childhood connections, the concept of the cycle of violence has a positive complement. Supportive and loving parents who attend to their child’s basic needs build self-confidence and an interest in social situations. These children are generally well-adjusted in their interpersonal relationships and are significantly less likely to commit crimes.

Criminal Peers

When examining the causes of a certain crime, one of the aspects that frequently appears to be implicated in the social aspect, it makes sense since associating with a group of people who have an evil mentality affects their behavior.

Others’ wrong mindsets influence people’s thinking in some way. It can, however, occur in the opposite direction at times. Those who engage in criminal behavior may have an impact on healthy minds.

Peer pressure can result in illegal behavior. Teenagers are trying to fit in to get validation or approval from their peers. They want to make a good impression on their peers. They seek to demonstrate their worth. When people are forced to engage in unlawful behaviors — such as shoplifting, stealing, or the use of illegal narcotics — they frequently do things they would never do on their own.

Learning Disabilities

It is vital to note that education levels are significant in the manifestation of criminal behavior. Learning disabled people have been demonstrated to be more prone to violent conduct. The main reason for this is an interconnected causal sequence of events, with education at the core. School accomplishment predicts pro-social behavior or acts defined as upholding a society’s moral norms.

Academic achievement is linked to other factors such as financial success, self-esteem, and an internal locus of control in our society. This concept may explain the reasons behind the widely held belief that people with high IQs do not get involved in criminal conduct than people with low IQs.

As previously indicated, academic success is linked to several socioeconomic aspects. Individuals with a lower IQ may not achieve as much academic success, which leads to poorer self-esteem and less financial success, which leads to a higher propensity for criminal activity. It is critical to emphasize education and treat concerns with learning disabilities at a young age to prevent the formation of these negative characteristics.

Drugs and Alcohol

Some social circumstances have a particularly powerful influence on a person’s decision-making capacity. One such factor is drug and alcohol misuse. The desire to commit a crime to finance a drug habit significantly impacts decision-making.

Drugs and alcohol impair judgment and lower inhibitions (socially defined rules of behavior), giving a person more bravery to commit a crime. Long prison terms, for example, have little meaning when a person is high or intoxicated.

In over half of all homicides and assaults, either the criminal, the victim, or both parties were reported to be intoxicated. Alcohol is also a significant contributor to violence between persons who know each other. Approximately two-thirds of victims attacked by a current or former spouse or significant other indicated alcohol consumption, compared to only 31% of stranger-related violence victims.

Delinquent Neighborhoods

Recent research has focused on how community organization affects child development, specifically how adolescents become more involved in crime and delinquency. Children reared in locations with extraordinarily low levels of socioeconomic deprivation and inequality are in danger of having a slew of unfavorable consequences that can enhance their predisposition to engage in criminal activities.


Children reared in such circumstances are more likely to drop out of school, have lower academic accomplishment, have reduced language ability, and experience various other issues.

Although studies have discovered a correlation between the structural disadvantage of communities and negative child and adolescent outcomes, the processes behind these relationships had not been adequately investigated until recently.

Several models have been proposed that may shed light. Several proposed models may shed light on how their neighborhood context can influence children’s involvement in crime and delinquency.


What factors influence criminal behavior?

Throughout history, people have sought to explain what causes anomalous social conduct, including crime. By the twenty-first century, criminologists looked at a wide range of elements to explain why people commit crimes. Biological, psychological, social, and economic issues were among them. A person who commits a crime is usually motivated by a mixture of these elements.

How does the environment affect criminal behavior?

The physical characteristics of the surroundings can influence the likelihood of a crime occurring. They influence potential offenders’ views of a potential crime site, their assessments of the circumstances surrounding a potential crime site, and the presence and visibility of one or more natural guardians at or near a site.

How do social structures affect criminal behavior?

According to social structure theories, people’s positions in the socioeconomic structure influence their chances of becoming a criminal. Because they cannot achieve monetary or social success in other ways, poor people are more likely to commit crimes.


The number of crimes increases daily. While these figures are not historically frightening, they demonstrate that crime is a regrettable aspect of our society in all of its manifestations. The majority of us are not criminals. So, what motivates a small proportion of us to commit crimes?

It’s a question that has tormented humanity since the dawn of time. In current times, criminology has embraced a scientific approach to answering questions. Everyone who commits a crime has their motivations and circumstances; criminologists believe a few underlying variables can contribute to criminal behavior.  CWP

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