Macdonald Triad Paper

Feb 3rd, 2012
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Behavioral characteristics of the sociopath

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MacDonald TriadNameClassDateProfessorMacDonald Triad The MacDonald Triad refers to the common traits of the sociopath. In other words the triad is three common traits of a child that point towards the likelihood of them growing up to become sociopaths. These traits are first the child continuing to wet their bed well past the age when this behavior should have ceased. The second trait is setting fires while the third trait of the predicted sociopath is causing harm to animals. The MacDonald Triad was first introduced in J.M. Macdonald's paper "The Threat to kill" and it outlined the behaviors seen in his study of sociopath patients. MacDonald's research has been retested on numerous occasion without any concrete results validating the MacDonald study. Despite the fact the study by MacDonald could not validate his findings there is sufficient cause to believe this type of troubling behavior would point to potential violent and aggressive behavior in adulthood. While there is not actual triad these three behaviors can be indicators that a juvenile is at risk for committing serious or violent crimes in adulthood. The research did not identify the formula of a sociopath but it did open the door for further research on what indicators could point to potential criminal behavior in adulthood. Juveniles have the potential for change and for growth. By pointing to three troubling behaviors as key indicators a juvenile will turn into a sociopat

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