San Diego State Role of Mental Illness in Violent Criminal Behaviors Discussion

1) Read the article, “What Propels Sexual Murderers: A Proposed Integrated Theory of Social Learning and Routine Activities Theories” and explain how and to what extent mental illness plays a role in violent criminal behavior.

***Use the GCU Library for sources (

***Adler, F., Mueller, G. O. W., & Laufer, W. S. (2018). Criminology. McGraw-Hill Education. ISBN 978-0-07-814096-9

The DQ response must be at least 200 words and should have at least one reference in APA format

2) Write a 100-word response to each student in first person as if you were writing it to the students. Talk about how you agree with their ideas and add your own thoughts. Make sure it’s respectful.

Violent criminal behavior may result from many childhood factors. Those who were raised in homes where they were the victims of physical and/or sexual abuse, with parents or guardians who abused alcohol and drugs, or witnessed similar events such as deviant sexual or homicidal acts were likely to have developed an insecure parent-child relationship (Chan et al., 2011). As a result of this, sexually deviant behaviors became a learned process, ultimately leading to some extent of mental illness. While this mental illness may not be one that is more stigmatized, such as schizophrenia, paraphilias are still a very real and serious type of mental illness. Paraphilias are basically categorized as sexually deviant disorders. According to Chan et al. (2011), the development of these disorders begins in childhood as part of a behavioral learning process and increase over time. They state that those who eventually become sexual murders take these learned behaviors and begin to act upon their sexual fantasies through less harmful tactics such as consuming violent types of pornography. However, over time, the materials that were satisfying their deviant needs no longer give them the same gratification. The need to feel more and more satisfied leads to more deviant behaviors, which likely will eventually result in the harm or death of others. Based on this information, mental illness can absolutely contribute to a role in violent criminal behavior. It is easy to see how sexual murder can quickly result from the escalation of deviant behavior to death. The need to feel power, control, and domination in combination of the aspects that give an offender gratification, it is easy to see how taking someone’s life would be the highest achievement of satisfaction for a person like this.



Chan, H. C., Heide, K. M., & Beauregard, E. (2011). What propels sexual murderers: A proposed integrated theory of social learning and routine activities theories. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 55(2), 228-250.

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