Past and Current Bio-Social Perspectives on Delinquency Causation

  • Peter C. Kratcoski
  • Lucille Dunn Kratcoski
  • Peter Christopher Kratcoski


The development of a theory pertaining to delinquency causation must include a body of interrelated ideas, assumptions, and propositions. Theories are always in a process of change and modification as new findings from empirical research casts doubt on the theories, or confirms some of their propositions.

The theories of delinquency causation discussed include those developed in the past by theorists from the classical school, the neoclassical school, and the biological school, including heredity. Recent developments pertaining to these theories are included in the chapter.

The classical theorists focused on the individual’s use of “free will” to make a rational choice on engaging in criminal behavior and the use of appropriate punishments to deter individuals from committing crimes while the biological-heredity based theorists believed that people are either born with a predisposition toward crime or deviant behavior, or due to some biological, chemical, or developmental change or injury become deviant. Those who promote heredity-based theories follow the belief that there is tendency toward delinquency and other aberrations such as mental illness and alcoholism that is genetically transmitted from parents to children.


Theory Empiricism Classical school Neoclassical Free will Determinism Heredity Biological school Intelligence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter C. Kratcoski
    • 1
  • Lucille Dunn Kratcoski
    • 2
  • Peter Christopher Kratcoski
    • 3
  1. 1.Sociology/Justice StudiesKent State UniversityTallmadgeUSA
  2. 2.TallmadgeUSA
  3. 3.Williams, Welser & Kratcoski LLCKentUSA

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