Chapter

Attachment research and the origins of violence: a story of damaged brains and damaged minds

Felicity de Zulueta

in Prevention and youth crime

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9781847422637
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303060 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847422637.003.0006
Attachment research and the origins of violence: a story of damaged brains and damaged minds

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Knife violence and killings are becoming rampant in London and other cities, which are being highly publicised by the media. Although knife crime has existed for hundreds of years in the United Kingdom, it has now reached a critical mass and, as a result of the media coverage, it is in the face of the young people who feel threatened by it. The government wants to be seen to be doing something to make the public feel safer and has produced a Youth Crime Action Plan. But, even before the plan was published, researchers in the field of child violence were providing evidence that contradicted the core assumptions of government policy. Most commentators now state that youth crime is fairly static, but violent crime is increasing. Empathy is key to understanding violence. This chapter explores the effects of maltreatment on brain development, caregiver-infant attunement within a secure attachment, and youth crime prevention based on a model of violence as a disease.

Keywords: United Kingdom; young people; child violence; crime prevention; youth crime; violent crime; empathy; attachment; brain development

Chapter.  8965 words. 

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