4-1 Discussion: Primary, Peripheral, and Contributing Factors: what role does the environment play in behavior


After reading the following case study, what role does the environment (e.g., friends, family, careers, education, socioeconomic status, etc.) play in behavior? In your opinion, is criminal behavior justified if the environment promotes, or supports, the behavior?

When responding to your peers, share your opinions and discuss other situations where the environment has impacted an individual’s behavior. Are certain behaviors justified by the environment? Explain your rationale.

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To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric.



After reading the case study for this week on a critical review of twin and adoption studies of criminality and antisocial behavior, the information presented seems to be interesting. This case study talks about how scientists thought criminality and antisocial behavior could be genetically passed down instead of individuals being affected by environmental and social conditions. After researching and doing experiments, scientists have produced that environment and social conditions have a greater influence on criminal and antisocial behaviors (Joseph, 2021).

A good example that indicated a strong correlation between the disposition of genetics and environment was the study of a set of twins and the behavior that was observed (Joseph, 2021). These scientists observed two different sets of twins raised in the same environment. One set of twins was identical and the other was fraternal. This case study showed that the identical twins showed a fifty percent concord and the fraternal twins showed only twenty-one percent. This study showed that there is a strong link between genetics and criminal eccentricity in the relationship that environmental factors influence criminal behavior (Joseph, 2021).

Children and teens are in a critical period where environmental and social behaviors can be influenced positively. When a child is taught morals, values, and rules of different social concepts, especially the social norms of society, it can cause them to think before acting on an impulse. If a child’s caregiver is not around or does not teach them wrong from right, then the things they do may seem to be right in their mind. The programs that can help children and teens learn from wrong and right and have a positive impact on them are neighborhood before and after-school programs, sports programs at the local rec center, food banks, and Big Brother and Big Sister programs.

The environment does play a role in promoting and even supporting criminal behavior. If someone is raised in a poor environment, social, and even family conditions they seem to be more at risk of being involved in this type of behavior. When someone is living in poverty, they may seem to feel that they must steal, rob, gang activity, or even sell drugs to be able to survive. It has been known that if someone is in a negative environment it can impact them negatively and vice versa. There are many ways the environment and social conditions can be changed to correct criminal behavior before it starts.

I am kind of in between on whether to believe that criminal behavior is justified or not if the environment promotes or supports it. I know that there are some instances where someone feels they must steal food to feed their family or steal baby formula or diapers for their baby in which what would happen to their family or baby if they get caught and go to jail? I do understand that some people think that they have no choice but to commit a crime because that was the way they were raised and there is no other way to live. I do believe that there are programs out there to help those in need, sometimes it is hard to get help but at the same time if someone does not reach out for help, they will never know if they can get the help they need.



Joseph, J. (2001). Is Crime in the Genes? A Critical Review of Twin and Adoption Studies of Criminality and Antisocial Behavior. The Journal of Mind and Behavior22(2), 179–218. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43853952