View Full Version : High Risk: Children Without A Conscience

11th July 2003, 08:49
I'm currently reading the book High Risk: Children Without a Conscience (by Dr. Ken Magid and Carole A. McKelvey) and I wondered if anyone here had read it.

It isn't really related to martial arts, but it does deal with psychological factors involved in criminal behavior, specifically attachment problems between children and their parents in early childhood, and the link to later psychopathy/APD (Antisocial Personality Disorder). I haven't gotten especially far in the book, but it seems very interesting so far.

I just wondered if anyone had read it, or if anyone had any comments about character-disturbed individuals/psychopaths and self-defense/crime or any related topic.

You can find more info about the book here (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0553346679/qid=1057909708/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-5384120-6520808?v=glance&s=books&n=507846).

11th July 2003, 09:01
Sounds mildly interesting.

11th July 2003, 09:12
I have that book somewhere...bought it for a girl friend a few years back. Her kids were totaly out of control to the point of threatening to use and displaying kitchen knives against one another. After I gave it to her, she quickly made it known that it was not appreciated and (thankfully) married someone 20 years her junior and moved away. WOO HOO! She returned the book to me.
A very interesting read.

joe yang
11th July 2003, 09:14
I call them Gen X killers! :D

11th July 2003, 22:30
Extract from an iteresting web page.

"Moral development is very heavily built around a part of the brain I used to ignore because you don't find much of it in a lab rat: the frontal cortex. The frontal cortex is an incredibly interesting part of the brain, since it's the nearest thing we've got to a super-ego. It's the part of the brain that keeps us from belching loudly during the wedding ceremony, or telling somebody exactly what we think of the meal they made, or being a serial murderer. It's the part of the brain that controls impulsivity, that accepts the postponement of gratification, that does constraint and anticipation, and that makes you work hard because you will get into an amazing nursing home one day if you just keep pushing hard enough. It's all about this very human realm of holding off for later.

The most amazing thing is that there is a dogma of neural development. The dogma is that by the time you're a couple of years old, you have your maximal number of neurons, and all of them are wired up and functioning. But it turns out that we make new neurons throughout life, and parts of the brain don't come fully on line until later. And, amazingly, the last area to do so is the frontal cortex, not until around age 30 or so. It's the last part of the brain to develop, and thus it's the part whose development is most subject to experience, environment, reinforcement, and the social world around you. That is incredibly interesting.

To put this in personal terms, my six-year-old might do something appallingly horrible and selfish and age appropriate to one of my three-year-old's toys. As a parent you swoop in and say, "This is not acceptable and you cannot do that." But just as I (or my wife who is a clinical nurse-psychologist, and so, pathetically, we actually speak like this at home) am saying this, the other will say, "He can't help it; he doesn't have a frontal cortex yet," to which the first inevitably responds, "But how else is he going to get one?"

The concept of there being consequences to your actions is second nature to people who think about child development, and certainly about moral development in kids, but how does that get translated down to this nuts-and-bolts level of the brain? How does "How else is he going to learn about it?" turn into a frontal cortex that allows him someday to do the right thing even though it's the harder thing, and even though everybody else is doing something else? How does someone learn when it is important to step away from the crowd at the critical moment? This question is turning into the one that really fascinates me, and it's not a terribly easy problem to go after."


Unproven assumption.

Childhood experience decide everthing. Consequently, it's parents responsibility. But what about the influence of peers. Once child grow up to be able to recognise social interaction, they spend more time with their peers. Pick any ten years old and ask how many hour a day they come in contact with their parents compared to their friend. I think parental influence is overstated.

btw, I personally consider Freudian analysis waste of time. What's up with boy want to screw mother stuff?

Shitoryu Dude
11th July 2003, 23:23
Freud had issues - why else do you think he came up with that crap?

Most likely the biggest source of poorly behaved children is a lack of a father in their life. Add in a bit of hippie pop-psychology and you have a surefire recipe for kids that need to be drowned before they become a problem outside the home.