1The will discuss to evaluate what is most

number of active serial killers in the USA at any given time is 35. The
motivations of serial killers crimes are shown to be influenced by many factors
such as their upbringing, as family disorganisation can result in a lack of
social skills and low self-control triggered by child abuse. There is also the
impact of socialisation as how a person interacts within institutions such as
in school and the workplace effects how they perceive themselves in society. If
someone allows themselves to become isolated and neglected from society it can
lead to a response of violence in order for them to release their anger and
frustration to those they feel have not accepted them. Another factor I will
also look at are the effects of substance abuse and how this may lead someone
to start serial killing, as use of drugs and alcohol can significantly damage
and affect someone’s ability to engage in a productive lifestyle and ultimately
result in an interest of killing in order to fight against this. My final
factors I will discuss to evaluate what is most influential in leading serial
killers to commit their crimes are whether they have adopted an anti-social
personality such as lying and skipping school in their early years, and I will
consider the studies done by psychologists such as Bowlby and Freud and how
they have concluded that factors such as an overdeveloped superego and the
impact of poor socialisation and how someone may respond to this. When answering what
factors have been most influential in leading serial killers to commit their
crimes I will evaluate and consider the significance of how each factor played
a part in their actions.

Children learn how to behave and socialise themselves from
observing how their parents interact and treat one another. An exposure to
violence throughout their childhood may teach a child that a reaction of
violence is a way to respond to conflict and therefore result in a toleration
of this behaviour in their adult life. Evidence of where a troubled upbringing
can be seen in the case of Jeffery Dahmer. His parents were often fighting and
this made him adapt to a life surrounded by anger and witnessed the breakdown
of their marriage and divorce later in his childhood may have been the catalyst
for the turning his thoughts and compulsions into actions. In Dahmer’s father’s
book, ‘A Father’s Story’, he reveals the incident where Jeffery was assaulted
in the woods close to his family home and it is believed this is where his
sexual problems stemmed from. It is clear from research that serial killers
like Dahmer are largely impacted and affected by experiences of their younger
years, which result in fascinations to cause harm to others as they have
suffered themselves therefore believe that society deserves to punished for
their neglect, and they pursue this idea in their mass and gruesome killings. A
study carried out by Bowlby found that when a child is unwillingly separated
from those who they are attached to, for example their parents, they tend to
show distress. Bowlby outlined three responses to this: separation anxiety,
grief and mourning, and defence. This theory is evident in Dahmer as the birth
of his younger brother David lead to his abandonment issues and eventually a
struggle to make friends at school in fear of repeat of abandonment. Another
key influential factor to answering the question of what leads a serial killer
to commit their crimes is the importance of socialisation. If a child is poorly
socialised into society this can lead to detachment from social groups and
therefore trigger an interest in criminal behaviour. Dahmer’s case also
displays the effect of poor socialisation as his interests in dead animals at
the age of ten, meant he would collect road kill along the side of the road and
in the woods behind his house and take them home to experiment. Dahmer would
continue to isolate himself from his peers when pursuing his interests and
therefore lacked to conform to the norms and values of our society and he
restricted himself from activities children at his age would expect to take
part in.

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The studies of psychologists were important when researching
what factors are most influential in leading serial to commit their crimes. I specifically
focused on the works and theories of Sigmund Freud. Freud argued that serial
killers result to crime due to the sense of guilt they may feel and what he
labelled the ‘superego’. Freud 2’developed
psychoanalysis, a method through which an analyst unpacks unconscious conflicts
based on the free associations, dreams and fantasies of the patient’. His
studies relate to factors that may influence a serial killer as Freud carried
out the theory of the ‘pleasure principle’, which 3’strives
to fulfil our most basic and primitive urges, including…anger, when these needs
are not met, the result is a state of anxiety or tension’. This concept outlines
how people gain and establish their morals in their childhood home influenced from
their parents ideologies and therefore if there was poor parenting in the individual’s
upbringing, the child would grow up unable to control their natural urges.

1 https://www.statisticbrain.com/serial-killer-statistics-and-demographics/

2 https://www.biography.com/people/sigmund-freud-9302400

3 https://www.verywell.com/what-is-the-pleasure-principle-2795472