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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


SILVA, Ana Paula Soares da  and  ROSSETTI-FERREIRA, Maria Clotilde. Continuity/discontinuity of involvement with crime: a critical discussion of developmental psychology literature. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2002, vol.15, n.3, pp.573-585. ISSN 0102-7972.

The present paper aims to make a critical appraisal of the Developmental Psychology literature about the practice of criminal acts by individuals across their life span. The linear cause/effect relationship usually embodied in the studies on criminal behavior is questioned. Diverse factors and their association with the involvement in criminal acts are analyzed, The need to understand the network of meanings which permeates the movement of continuity or rupture with a criminal trajectory across the life span, in a specific developmental context, is pointed out. We argue that the factors, by themselves, do not contribute for the criminal/non-criminal trajectory, as much as the personal and collective meanings attributed to them. Continuity/discontinuity should thus be understood as constructs that comprise of the same developmental event.

Keywords : Criminality; continuity [discontinuity]; developmental pathways; network of meanings.

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