Required Readings

Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. (2017). Criminal behavior: A psychological approach. (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Chapter 1, “Introduction to Criminal Behavior” (pp. 1–26)
Chapter 2, “Origins of Criminal Behavior: Developmental Risk Factors” (pp. 28–56)

Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2013a). Retrieved from

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d.). Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. Retrieved November 27, 2019,  from

Lundman, R. J., & Kaufman, R. L. (2003). Driving while black: Effects of race, ethnicity, and gender on citizen self reports of traffic stops and police actions. Criminology41(1), 195–220.

Document: Final Project Guidelines (PDF)

Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. (2017). Criminal behavior: A psychological approach (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Chapter 3, “Origins of Criminal Behavior: Biological Factors” (pp. 59-81)

Burkhead, M. D. (2006). The search for the causes of crime: A history of theory in criminology. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. (click underlined link above for access)
From The Search for the Causes of Crime: A History of Theory in Criminology © 2006 Michael Dow Burkhead by permission of McFarland & Company, Inc., Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640.
Chapter 1, “Setting the Stage” (pp. 9–35)
Review the case scenario about Gary F. (pp. 23–27)

Discussion 1: Approaches to Understanding Criminal Behavior

Several different approaches are used in criminology to understand and explain crime and criminal behavior. Sometimes referred to as schools or perspectives of criminology, the approaches provide frameworks for considering the reasons why individuals might commit crime and thus for understanding criminal behavior.

Although a person may choose to engage in criminal behavior, there are factors that increase the chance for involvement in criminal activity. These factors include biological (psychiatric), psychological, and social forces, and may be studied by criminologists using biological, psychological, and sociological approaches, respectively. The approach that a criminologist uses to investigate criminal behavior guides and influences his or her research and ultimately may have implications for the information discovered about an individual who commits a crime.

By Day 3

Post a brief description of the approach (biological, psychological, or sociological) you think best helps explain the causes of crime and criminal behavior and why you think this is the best approach. Justify your position using specific examples. Then, based on this approach, answer the questions “What is a crime?” and “Who is a criminal?” making sure to justify your answers using theories and/or data.

Note: Put the approach that you selected in the first line of your post. You will be asked to respond to a colleague who selected a different approach than you did.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.