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Desisting from CrimeContinuity and Change in Long-term Crime Patterns of Serious Chronic Offenders$
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Michael E. Ezell and Lawrence E. Cohen

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273812.001.0001

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Crime Over the Life Course: The Empirical Implications of Three Theories

Crime Over the Life Course: The Empirical Implications of Three Theories

(p.12) 2 Crime Over the Life Course: The Empirical Implications of Three Theories
Desisting from Crime

Michael E. Ezell

Lawrence E. Cohen

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the general population heterogeneity, state dependence, and ‘mixed’ explanations of criminal behaviour. Three specific theoretical perspectives are considered: Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) self-control theory of crime, Sampson and Laub's (1993) age-graded theory of informal social control, and Moffitt's dual taxonomy theory (1993). The focus is on how each theoretical perspective accounts for the processes of continuity and discontinuity in criminal offending patterns, the relationship between age and crime, and the relationship between past and subsequent criminal activity. The age-crime curve is also examined.

Keywords:   population heterogeneity, state dependence, criminal behaviour, self-control theory, age-graded theory, social control, dual taxonomy theory, age, crime, age-crime curve

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