Interdisciplinary Theory

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminology

In criminology, interdisciplinary theory integrates knowledge and perspectives from multiple disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, biology, and law, to develop a more comprehensive understanding of crime and criminal behavior. 

Interdisciplinary theory recognizes that crime is a complex phenomenon that any single discipline or perspective cannot fully explain.

Interdisciplinary theory seeks to identify the multiple factors contributing to criminal behavior, including individual, social, and environmental factors. For example, an interdisciplinary approach to understanding juvenile delinquency might draw on insights from psychology to examine the role of individual factors, such as personality traits or mental health issues, as well as insights from sociology to examine the role of social factors, such as family dynamics, peer pressure, and neighborhood conditions.

Interdisciplinary theory also recognizes that criminal justice policies and interventions must be based on a comprehensive understanding of the factors contributing to criminal behavior. This may involve incorporating insights from multiple disciplines in developing and implementing crime prevention strategies, offender rehabilitation programs, and other criminal justice interventions.

Overall, interdisciplinary theory is an important approach in criminology because it acknowledges the complexity of crime and criminal behavior and recognizes that effective solutions to these problems require a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach.

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Last Modified: 03/09/2023


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