Moffitt's Theoretical Framework

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An individual’s psychological maturity is an imperative factor in understanding an adolescent’s decision-making process. For years, mental health specialists and judicial decision makers have worked hard on defining youth’s cognitive and emotional capacities that influence their behavior. If researchers could pin point the key elements that would be a huge step forward in understanding why juveniles act the way they do. Kelly, Miller, Redlich, Kleinman, and Lamb, in their journal article, “A Taxonomy of Interrogation Methods,” define taxonomy as “the science of classification, organizes what is known about a phenomenon in such a fashion that is accessible and sensible to consumers of the information… it systemizes established observations that …show more content…

“This theory postulates that the gap between social/emotional maturity, and greater affiliation with other delinquent peers via social mimicry” (Cruise et al., 2008). This theory also focuses on the neurodevelopmental characteristics and progression within the lives of adolescent’s. As mentioned before, Cruise, Fernandez, McCoy, Guy, Colwell, and Douglas, quote Cauffman and Steinberg stating, “‘this growing body of research has brought up both the developmental theoretical framework, and operationalization of that framework, to examine adolescents’ specific developmental capacities deemed crucial to participation in the legal processes’ (Cauffman & Steinberg, 1995),” (Cruise et al., 2008). Meaning that there must be an understanding during the juvenile interrogation and the juvenile justice system, that adolescent’s are cognitively different than adults. The combination of cognitive, social, and emotional factors influence the “maturity of judgment” through age-related factors that differentiate an adolescent’s decision-making from that of an …show more content…

Cruise and his colleague’s state, “These findings are an important reminder that the full range of developmental capacities warrants consideration when tailoring judicial and legislative policy responses for juvenile offenders” (Cruise et al., 2008). Overall, the taxonomic theory and structure are lacking within the interrogation process. If the findings within the taxonomic theory and structure were applied within the interrogation process, then the issue of a child’s Miranda rights being disregarded would not be one of the biggest issues within adolescent interrogations. The developments of taxonomy within interrogation methods are a scientific advancement, which have been proven to be incremental. If we fully understand and apply the taxonomic theory and methods into everyday interrogations, it will help diminish the issue of law enforcement officers taking advantage of juveniles who do not fully understanding their Miranda rights. This research proposal could also act as a beneficial safeguard in protecting adolescents’ and their rights during

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