What is ‘affluenza’? Lawyer defends rich DUI teen who was too spoiled

spoiled kid
Spoiled children tend to not learn impulse control.
Credit: Colourbox

Affluenza is today’s buzziest word after an attorney used the diagnosis to defend the actions of a North Texas teen who killed four people while driving drunk. A Fort Worth juvenile court judge sentence Ethan Couch, 16, to only 10 years’ probation Tuesday after killing four pedestrians.

Couch’s defense attorney argued that he should not get the maximum 20-year prison sentence because of his diagnosis of “affluenza.” Psychologist Gary Miller said Couch, who comes from a wealthy family, suffered from “affluenza,” according to WFAA. So what is this mystery affliction? Miller said it means not understanding the link between behavior and consequences as a result of getting coddled.

But the American Psychiatric Association said this diagnosis does not exist, and that there is no such diagnosis in its most recent manual published in May, reports the AP.

David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of “Your Brain at Work,” told Metro he had never heard of the term “affluenza” used that way before, but that it is true people who are coddled as children lack impulse control later in life. “Self-control in adults requires practice in childhood,” he said. “These people are more likely to experience serious kinds of addictions. They’re more likely to have less self-control in any context.”

When asked if there was a difference between being spoiled and having “affluenza,” Rock admitted, “It’s the same thing probably. If you’re spoiled or you’re never having to manage your emotions or control your emotions or reactions and you always get what you want, then you’re also not building that impulse control.”

Follow Andrea Park on Twitter: @andreapark



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…