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  • Adoption Study
    • Facts
      • Similarities between adopted children and their biological and adoptive parents are compared.
      • If similarity is greater with adoptive parent- environmental influence on crime.
      • If greater similarity with biological parents, genetic influence on crime.
    • 1.Claims
      • Regardless of environment, children biologically predisposed to criminality.
      • Crowe- criminality and aggression linked to genetics.
      • Can separate nature/nurture influence by adoption studies.
      • Comparing their behaviours to behaviours of biological and adopted parents.
    • 2.Components
      • Compared children of biological mother who had a criminal record, to children who.s biological mother didn't.
        • If biological mother had criminal record, 50% of children had one by 18.
      • In the control group, 5% of children had criminal record by 18.
      • Suggesting, regardless of changed environment, children biologically predisposed to criminality.
    • 3.Credibility
      • Able to separate nature and nurture, findings are consistent with genetics being influence on crime.
      • Results show big genetic link between biological mother crime and child's.
      • Adoption studies- effective technique for assessing impact on genetic and environmental link.
      • May not be criminality they inherited e.g. inherit alcoholism- link to criminal behaviour.
      • Many adopted children not adopted at birth, life experiences prior to adoption may affect later development.
      • Reductionist- doesn't take into account environmental factors.
      • Deterministic.
    • 4.Analysis
      • Kenneth Bianichi- born to alcoholic mother who gave him away at 3 months old.
        • Showed early signs of problems e.g. temper tantrums.
        • Foster father died at 13, forced to go work and support family.
        • Moved in with his cousin who was a bad influence on him.
    • 5.Refuting Evidence
      • Age of influence may mean they've already been influenced.
      • Information about biological parent isn't always available.
      • Adoption process not always random- children places with family or parents similar to biological.
      • Doesn't take father's criminal background into account.
    • Supporting Evidence
      • Mednick et al(1994)
        • Compared court convictions of 14,000 adoptees with biological and adoptive parents.
          • Correlation between conviction of biological parent.
        • No correlation of criminal links between adoptive parents and child.
          • Although, this wasn't for serious crimes.
      • Siblings adopted separately into different homes tended to be concorded for convictions.
        • Especially if biological father also had a record of criminal behaviour.


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