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The Development of Persistent Criminality$
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Joanne Savage

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195310313

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310313.001.0001

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Reconsidering Gottfredson and Hirschi's General Theory of Crime: Linking the Micro- and Macro-Level Sources of Self-Control and Criminal Behavior over the Life Course

Reconsidering Gottfredson and Hirschi's General Theory of Crime: Linking the Micro- and Macro-Level Sources of Self-Control and Criminal Behavior over the Life Course

Chapter:
(p.361) CHAPTER 17 Reconsidering Gottfredson and Hirschi's General Theory of Crime: Linking the Micro- and Macro-Level Sources of Self-Control and Criminal Behavior over the Life Course
Source:
The Development of Persistent Criminality
Author(s):

Travis C. Pratt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310313.003.0017

Since its arrival on the criminological scene, an impressive roster of studies has emerged supporting Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) core theoretical proposition—that criminal behavior is caused by individuals' deficiencies in levels of self-control. Nevertheless, empirical evidence has emerged indicating that the processes assumed to establish individuals' levels of self-control are more complex than those specified by Gottfredson and Hirschi. This chapter addresses this issue by presenting an explanatory model of the development of self-control that pulls together micro- (i.e., neuropsychological, family context) and macro-level (community and institutional contexts) criminogenic influences. The purpose of this revised model is to demonstrate how self-control can be integrated into a more comprehensive—and empirically robust—theoretical framework for explaining between-individual variation in offending, within-individual variation in criminal behavior over the life course, and the spatial distribution of crime.

Keywords:   self-control theory, the general theory, criminological theory, chronic offending, life-course criminology, self-control, integrated theory, neighborhood, parenting, institutional efficacy

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