n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Explaining criminal behaviour according to the psychoanalytic-psychiatric approach

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



The psychoanalytic-psychiatric approach strongly endorses the view that the prime determinant of human behaviour lies within the person and that after the first few years of life the environment plays a minor role. Psychoanalytic writers view crime as a symptom of disturbing experiences in the intimate relationships of the family during the early years of life. In interpreting criminal cases they focus on one or more personality attributes such as weak ego development, with resulting impulsive acts, gross emotional instability and a lack of guilt feelings.

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