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Some Possible Biochemical Aspects of Criminal Behavior

NCJ Number
L J Hippchen
Date Published
27 pages
This paper summarizes some of the important new basic and applied research and theoretical development in biochemistry in relation to criminological concerns, especially in relation to violent forms of behavior.
Six syndrome areas are explored: vitamin-mineral deficiencies-dependencies, hypoglycemia, cerebral allergies and addictions, environmental contaminants, minimal brain dysfunction, and neuro-regulator imbalances. The review appears to support several conclusions. Criminological research should be expanded considerably beyond the current emphasis on sociological and psychological etiological concerns to include the areas of biochemistry, especially as it may help to explain some forms of violent behavior. Criminologists should more seriously investigate the biochemical research literature as it relates to their concerns, and make a more vigorous effort to organize multidisciplinary teams of professionals to investigate criminal behavior from a more holistic, integrative view point. Moreover, contemporary criminological theories should be developed which utilize a more holistic framework, encompassing the total of interacting biochemical-social-psychological-cultural aspects of criminal behavior. Criminologists, working in conjunction with criminal justice practitioners, should develop new applied theoretical models and empirical research approaches, incorporating the new biochemical knowledge as much as possible, to the practical problems of offender rehabilitation. Criminologists, in exploration of the biochemical aspects of prenatal, postnatal, and early childhood development, should be able to help develop a series of effective delinquency prevention programs with parents and schools. The paper contends that the new biochemical knowledge makes it possible for the first time, in conjunction with sociological and psychological areas of knowledge, to achieve the practical and effective application of social and behavioral knowledge to crime prevention. Over 90 references are given. (Author summary modified)