Here is an example of a case study from the American Journal of Psychiatry. This is an example of the APA case study analysis example:
“In this sample, psychopathic criminals were subdivided into those whose psychopathy occurred early in life (i.e., childhood and adolescent psychopaths) and those who developed their psychopathy later in life (transitional psychopaths). The latter group exhibited psychopathy throughout the lives.”
The author refers to developmental models that I have studied, which suggest that psychopaths develop early in life and only become more so as they mature. He would know better than I.
In this case study, the authors attempt to differentiate the developmental paths of early and later psychopathy. The authors believe that this will help with the development of a case study analysis example. The method is to break a case down into smaller cases and make it easier to see the differences between them.
However, when you do this, it is difficult to separate out the categories. The authors say that they did not test for the race because it is not relevant, but I can tell you that the characteristics and patterns of behavior seen among the criminal groups are consistent with the developmental stages that we see in some of our clients.
When we explain these developmental stages to our clients, we often find that some of their criminal behavior mirrors the stages we see. Also, the developmental evidence helps us understand how these stages develop.
We tell our clients that their antisocial behavior may reflect the phases we see in the second and third stages of the third developmental path, while it could also represent the first stage of the second developmental path. If you think about it, this makes sense. For instance, if the criminal behavior is in the second developmental stage, then it is likely the criminal behavior began during childhood.
So, by isolating out specific developmental paths in a case study and making them much easier to compare, the authors of the APA case study example do not really provide the important information that they claim they will provide. In order to provide this important information, one would need to look at the course of action taken by the criminal groups and the common characteristics in those criminal groups.
I have seen this occur time again in the criminal groups I have worked with. For instance, you might see that the offenders have certain common characteristics.
There is nothing to prevent you from isolating these characteristics and comparing them with the results of a specific developmental program. In doing so, you would be able to compare the progress of these criminal groups with the results of any developmental programs that have been tested.
Another thing I want to point out about the case study analysis example is that the authors of the case study to discuss the case of the transitional psychopath, which is actually the outcome that is supposed to be documented. Since this is the result that is supposed to be documented, the authors of the case study ignore it and completely disregard the cases that demonstrate the clinical presentation of the psychopaths.