Psychology Essay Sample on Psychodynamic Theory in Delinquent Behavior

Paper Type: 
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  867 Words
Date:  2021-03-25

The aspect is that Mary Bell thought her father was Billy Bell, who was a habitual criminal, and had been arrested for robbery. Second, her mother was a prostitute and she had forced her to engage in sexual acts particularly with her mothers clients. Therefore, Bell was from a broken home and she was subject to an immoral environment where she was abused. Third, Brian Howe was strangled to death by Mary and she cut off his hair, partially skinned his genitals, and injured his thighs and genitals. A letter M was imprinted on the three year old stomach but was originally N but she added a line to make it an M.

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I believe every child should be protected, loved, and subjected to a favorable environment. Otherwise if a child lack any of the elements he or she may develop low self-esteem, anger, emotional disturbance, violence. This immoral environment teaches and reinforce skills that are anti-social as well as destructive (Kim, 2008). Therefore, I believe the origin of juveniles delinquent behavior is the environment that a child is subjected to during its childhood and how parents, neighbors, schoolmates as well as teachers treat the child. Inadequate parenting is another factor that I believe plays a major role in shaping a childs character. Parents should be supportive, encouraging, and should motivate their children to be ethical in whatever situation they are in (Burfeind & Jeglum 2005).

Psychodynamic theory states traumatizing experience during early childhood can hinder the development of ego and superego thus leaving the Id with stronger powers. The id refers to the basic part of the personality and a person wants instant pleasure for our wants and need. For a long time Mary Bell thought that his father was Billy Bell and he was a criminal who had been arrested for robbery. Bell might have been very disappointed after she found out that Billy was not her biological father. Moreover, Mary grew watching her father getting involved in criminal activities in order to meet his desires. Environment shapes behavior and children identify those aspect of their environment that they find pleasing (Burfeind & Jeglum 2005). Therefore, Mary could not control her Id just like the father figure in her life. Billy had the assumption that involving in crime was a way of getting instant pleasure and she passed it on to Mary. That can be the reason why Mary killed Howe because she wanted to calm down her anger that she had irresponsible parents and the fact that she was raped by her mothers clients. Therefore, this situations made her seek immediate gratification in crime (Kim, 2008).

According to Freud superego serves to pass judgment on behavior and actions of a person. Parent-child relationship and childhood experiences are important because they have greater influence on offending (Regoli, & Hewitt 2011). Mary was subjected to unsuitable environment where she used to be raped by her mothers client and her father was a criminal. Thus, this environment had a negative impact on her because she had undeveloped superego. Her undeveloped superego was as a result of abnormal relationship in her family. This made her act in a way that satisfied her desires regardless of the social restraint (Regoli, & Hewitt 2011). She was overwhelmed by the anger that why she cut off Howes hair, partially skinned his genitals, and injured his thighs and genitals. In addition, she imprinted a letter M on the three year old stomach but was originally N but she added a line to make it an M. Thus it also shows that Mary had the inability to control his anger thus making it hard for him to make correct judgment. Mary undeveloped superego was as a result of how cruel her mother was to her and this led her to be very violent in order to meet her desire (Burfeind & Jeglum 2005). Thus, she only believed that fighting back was the correct thing to do in order to be heard. That can be a reason why she killed Howe even writing a letter in her stomach in order she could be heard, thinking she was doing the right thing.

Parent management training is the most effective type of intervention that can improved a child behavior and reduce juvenile defiance. Moreover, it should provide crime involvement programs that wholly focus on assisting and training parents on proper ways to handle their children should. In addition, the training should be able to give special attention on parents that have social adjustment problems such as prostitution, drugs and crime (Regoli, & Hewitt 2011). The training should also incorporate teachers and encourage sharing of information between teachers and parents to ensure direct observation of the childs behavior both at home and school. The training should also offer counseling services for parents in order to ensure that they are good role model to their kids. Parent interaction with their children and discipline can effectively reduce the likelihood of delinquent behavior by their children (Kim, 2008).


Burfeind, W. & Jeglum, D. (2005). Juvenile Delinquency: An integrated Approach. California. Routledge.

Kim, H. (2008). Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Crime. New York. Nova Publishers.

Regoli, M. & Hewitt, D. (2011). Delinquency in Society: The Essentials. New York. Jones & Bartlett publishers.

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