Is that kid a psychopath?


Beth Thomas: Child of Rage admitted to wanting to kill her parents and brother in the dead of night. She also admits to sexually abusing her younger brother, torturing the family dog and killing a nest of baby birds

In a study of 93 Morton East students, 34.4% of students believed that children should be tried as an adult in murder cases.  

Studies show that it is rare for a child under the age of 14 to kill someone, but approximately 74 children a year do so in the United States. Some states have taken matters into their own hands. There is, a state law in New Hampshire known as immaturity that states only children 13 years or older can be charged with serious violent crimes as adults including murder, kidnapping, rape, down to negligent homicide and robbery. Psychiatrists caution that there is no one type of youthful killer. But murderous children often come from families where they see or experience much violence. Young boys who commit murders were often taunted for effeminacy and carried a weapon because they lacked physical confidence. They came from homes where the mother was dominant and the father, if present, was passive. Their murders, though done in passion, had often been subtly encouraged by a parent. Researchers have found that often the homicidal child has witnessed his father’s violence against the mother. The researchers also found that homicidal children were much more likely than others to have mothers who had been psychiatrically hospitalized and fathers who were alcoholicsIt is said that psychopathic children’s brains may be wired differently.  

“Anti-social personality is what you want to look into and those are people whose minds literally have lack of connection and empathy to others, they don’t feel bad for what they do a lot of them will be very manipulative,” AP Psychology teacher Mr. Fischer said. 

This lack of emotion is caused by an unbalance in the limbic system that is located near the center of your brain and is responsible for your emotions. 

“I know its hereditary and that it has something to do with the brain development and stuff like that so it’s something that doesn’t click in the brain that causes the brain to turn in that direction,” Director of the preschool and child development teacher Ms. Foley said. 

Different chemical imbalances in the brain may lead a child to violence. Turning toward violence can be a difficult situation that hits a variety or children differently.  

For kids, a lot of problems are environmental or just phases and things like that. A lot of treatment for kids is just helping them process when they have adverse life events or things like that. If a kid is aggressive as a kid, that doesn’t mean they’ll be aggressive as an adult it just means they have extra stuff going on. There’s a big difference.” AP Psychology teacher Mr. Fischer said.  

Other factors can also lead a child to violence. 

“Bullying is a huge thing or people who have done some type of drug can drive kids to violence,” English teacher Mr. Tondelli said 

Along with everything a psychotic child goes through, they usually have a history of distancing themselves from others and having a lack of communication.  

“I haven’t met any [Children] that I have seen that have an antisocial personality disorder. They’re excited to learn, since they’re first coming in and it’s their first school experience, they all have their different personalities, they learn from each other, so you see them growing with their interactions and learning how to communicate with other kids,” Director of the preschool and child development teacher Ms. Foley said.  

Many outgoing, ready to learn kids may not seem to grow up to harm, but when put up to the test, they can resort to violence.  

“I don’t think I’m capable of murdering someone. But it depends…I only have the fear of having a loved one die on me and if I must kill to prevent that from happening then I will,” Senior Moises Eguiza said.  

A teacher can have a different perspective.  

“No, I cannot even go hunting, I have a hard time killing animals um…me personally I cannot, I value human life,” English teacher Mr. Tondelli said. 

It is presented in various media that males are more affected than females. 

“Based on what I’ve seen through other shows like stuff on T.V and other stuff like that, I would say that they typically tend to say that males are more affected than females are affected,” Director of the preschool and child development teacher Ms. Foley said.  

The difference between women and men is women can admit they have antisocial personality due to men being more reserved and masculine.  

“ Guys aren’t really in tune with their emotions…men are told at an early age that we’re not supposed to cry so I think that if men do have antisocial personality disorder, they’re not inclined to say they have it only because it’s not viewed as masculine, but I think women would admit that they have it only because it’s more socially acceptable, to be honest,” English teacher Mr. Tondelli said.