Questions. What makes crime-prone individuals?Are personal traits more important than social variables as predictors of criminal activity?Do you think there is a general theory of crime for all crimes?. Developmental Theories. LATENT TRAIT THEORIESLIFE COURSE THEORIES. Life Course an
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Chapter 9Developmental Theories: Latent Trait and Life Course
Criminology 9thand 10th edition
Larry J. Siegel
© 2003 Wadsworth Publishing Co.
What makes crime-prone individuals?
Are personal traits more important
than social variables
as predictors of criminal activity?
Do you think there is a
general theory of crime
for all crimes?
Crime and criminality are separate concepts. People choose to commit crime when they lack self-control. People lacking in self-control will seize criminal opportunities.
The propensity to commit crime remains
stable throughout a person’s life.
Change in the frequency of criminal activity
is purely a function of change
in criminal opportunity.
due to inadequate
Crime and deviance
Do you think the General Theory of Crime
can explain either white collar crime
Low self-control is produced by experiences a person has with destructive social forces called coercion.
According to Colvin,
what is coercive ideation?
The amount of
control one can exercise over others – excessive control can lead to:
The amount of
control one is subject
to by others – deficit
control can lead to:
Conformity results when these two elements are in balance: control imbalances produce
deviant and criminal behaviors
What is the problem behavior syndrome (PBS)?
To a life course theorist, what are pathways to crime?
How does Age of Onset relate to the
Continuity of Crime?
Who are “life course persisters?”
Combines elements of social structural, social control, and social learning theories. Accounts for variations in the crime rate.
Weak social controls produce crime. A person’s place in the structure influences his or her bond to society.
People with antisocial potential (AP) are at risk
to commit anti-social acts.
AP can be viewed as both
a long-and short-term phenomenon.
Identifies different types of criminal propensity
and shows how they may influence behavior
in both the short and long term.
MAJOR PREMISE - Criminals go through lifestyle changes during their offending careers.
STRENGTHS - Combines sociological and psychological theories.
Overview of the
Interactional Theory of Delinquency: Thornberry
Shows how crime is a developmental process that shifts in direction over the life course.
CRIMINAL CAREER TRAJECTORIES CAN BE REVERSED.
As people mature, the factors that influence their propensity to commit crime change. In childhood, family factors are critical; in adulthood, marital and job factors are key.