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Exploring the Characteristics and Factors of Predatory Violence

May 12, 2023 | 0 comments

May 12, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments


Predatory violence is distinct and separate from general offending because Predatory violence is usually characterized by the absence of emotion and threats and is usually cognitively planned. Therefore, predatory violence is the type of violence that is planned and intended to achieve a certain purpose. According to (Meloy, 2006), general offending is usually impulsive, mostly as a reaction to violence. It is usually highly emotional and enhanced physiological excitement hence not easy to control. On the other hand, general offending is usually influenced by culture, environment, and social factors. Predatory violence involves the use of the frontal cortex that is used in the planning of a criminal activity. The limbic system is responsible for aggression and rage. Research has indicated that predatory violence perpetrators usually have low self-control, which is the source of aggressive behavior towards others. Predatory violence is characterized by certain traits, such as psychopathy, antisocial behavior, aggression, and childhood trauma.

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Environmental factors such as violence, abuse, poverty, and social isolation and neglect expose children to problem behavior characters creating a recipe for predatory violence. Studies have shown that the longer a child is exposed to poverty, especially in the first four years of childhood, the higher the likelihood of such a child is engaging in violent activities. Children from large families and those living in crowded homes are at a greater risk of acquiring violent predatory traits (Allgood, 1999).

Predatory Violence Traits.

Psychological stress is one of the leading causes of predatory violence. As mentioned earlier, predatory violence is usually planned with no emotional connection and less threat. Psychopathy is anti-social behavior. A person may, at birth, be predisposed to stress due to the nature of their genetic composition. For example, the expression level of certain stimuli may be abnormal and therefore express abnormal activity. On the other hand, an individual’s genetic endowments may also predispose them to be relatively insensitive to stress.

Perpetual offenders of predatory violence tend to develop psychopathic traits. Psychopathy is usually characterized by emotional and personal, and social deviance symptoms. Some emotional mannerisms include lack of remorse, control for behavior, adult anti-social traits, lack of responsibility, need for excitement, early behavioral problems, and aggression.

Research by Kelley, Loeber, Keenan, and DeLamatre shows that early childhood behavioral problems are likely to lead to juvenile resulting in adult anti-social traits. Further, the study has shown a link between juvenile or adult offenders to psychopathy and persistent offending (1997). Most murder offenders score above 30. this threshold is usually considered the limited measuring score for psychopathy. Further psychopathic traits usually relate to a lack of cognitive, emotional, and social functions. With the lack of these necessities, the offenders usually display maladaptive behavior. Most juvenile and adult offenders are usually psychopaths. Aggression is behavior that is forceful, dangerous, and destructive.

Low self-control is another character trait of offenders of predatory violence.

Early childhood behavioral difficulties are directly related to low self-control. Low self-control is an attribute that has the likelihood of causing aggression and violence towards others. Low self-control is also linked to early life and lack of stability up to adulthood. Health-related behavior is also associated with low self-control, less consciousness, and reduced frontal functioning. Childhood trauma and victimization lead to aggression and violence. This is because trauma and victimization cause poor anger management and control of rage. Children neglected and abused have a higher chance of showing psychopathic behavior.


Allgood, S. (1999). The impact of youth criminal behavior on Adult Earning. The University of Nebraska.

Kelly, B., Loerber, R., Keenan, K., & DeLamatre, M. (1997). Development Pathways in Boys Disruptive and Delinquent Behavior.  Juvenile Justice Bulletin. US Department of Justice.

Meloy, R. (2006).Empirical basics and Forensic applications of affective and predatory violence.  Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

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