BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)
Faculty / School
School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)
Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts
Date of Award
Date of Submission
Dr. Sahar Nadeem Hamid, Assistant Professor and Chairperson Social Sciences & Liberal Arts
Habiba Zaheer, Visiting Faculty, Department of Social Sciences
SSLA Culminating Experience
This study explores the psychosocial development of four notorious serial killers: John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Aileen Wuornos, and Javed Iqbal. By examining their experiences across the psychosocial stages proposed by Erikson (1963), discernible patterns in their lives were identified in order to understand and analyze what potential maladaptive traits they exhibited. A comprehensive analysis was conducted through qualitative research methodology, whereby each stage was broken down to create a psychobiography. The results revealed recurring patterns of abuse, neglect, disrupted interpersonal relations, and identity struggles in the lives of these serial killers. The commonalities among them offer valuable insights into potential factors influencing the emergence of deviant behaviors and provide a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics involved in serial murder. These findings encourage further investigation to establish clinically usable criteria that can be used to identify individuals who may be more prone to maladaptive behaviours. This would be helpful in order to rehabilitate such individuals before they carry out any potential criminal offences.
Raza, R. (2023). The psychosocial anatomy of serial killers: an analysis of John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Javed Iqbal, and Aileen Wuornos (Unpublished undergraduate project). Institute of Business Administration, Pakistan. Retrieved from https://ir.iba.edu.pk/sslace/232
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