Habits are easy to select, but difficult to lose when they become a form of addiction. Likewise, the ideals you emulate at a young age belong to your lifestyles. Education forms and impacts the self-discovery of adolescents. The choice of committing crimes is influenced by the psychological condition, social partnerships or free will of the person.
The history of Capone lacks biological factors as an inspiration for his crimes. He emigrated from Italy to the US in search of a better life from his parents Gabriele and Teresina. While initially bad, the parents have taken honest jobs and have not committed crime. Gabriele worked as a barber and Teresina was a seamstress, and their hard work saw them move from a tenement to a better neighbourhood. Therefore, if Al Capone was to emulate his upbringing, he would turn out like his parents and earn an honest living.
Psychological factors could have partly pushed him to lead the criminal life. Notably, his declining performance in the sixth grade preceded his absence from school. He must have felt demotivated by poor grades and lack of a support system. Evidently, not every child performs well in academics. However, parents and teachers ought to avoid judging kids by their performance in school. Perhaps Capone would have discovered something he is good at, outside the classroom if he was given a chance. Demotivation probably pushed Capone to quit education that would have given him a better life regardless of his poor performance.
Social influence significantly contributed to Capone’s engagement in criminal activity. When his parents moved to the Park Slope neighborhood, Capone became friends with Johnny Torrio whom he ran errands for at a numbers and gambling business (Kadi & Lalaoui, 2016). That exposure must have exposed him to criminals that swayed him to join a street gang. It is Torrio that connected Capone to work as a bouncer and bartender at Gangster Frankie Yale’s establishment. Notably, Capone had no respect for women, and it earned him a scared face in his line of duty. At teenage, he had been exposed to a myriad of criminals that shaped the person he became. Adolescents go through a lot of confusion in discovering their identity and their social environment impacts the definition they pick for themselves. Similarly, Capone’s social circle comprised of gangsters and it was impossible for him to rise above that lifestyle.
Free will did not inform his decisions because Capone was still a minor when he started getting involved in petty criminal activities (Teive & Paola, 2015). Indeed, if he had supportive family and friends to guide him right, the outcome would have been different. Unfortunately, his parents must have been too caught up raising the other seven siblings that they did not realize that Capone was drifting apart. In addition, their extended family was in another country and could not offer support to a confused teenager. His strive to want to fit in and be accepted despite being born of immigrant parents had Capone in the company of criminal friends who shaped him.
Capone’s social and psychological state turned him into the most notorious criminal American history has ever recorded. Despite being born of honest and hardworking parents, he deviated from that. His tender age made him victim to the influence of the gangster lifestyle of the friends he associated with. Failure to complete his education made Capone more vulnerable to the path he took.
Kadi, A. A., & Lalaoui, Y. (2016). American Gangs of the Roaring Twenties, Al Capone and Chicago Mobs (Doctoral dissertation).
Teive, H. A., & Paola, L. D. (2015). Neurobehavioral disorders locked in Alcatraz: case reports on three famous inmates. Arquivos de neuro-psiquiatria, 73(8), 722-724.