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Developmental Theories . Life-course perspective Latent Trait perspective. Why do we need developmental theories?. Can criminologists be satisfied with existing theories? Each of the theories tries to explain between individual differences . Why do we need developmental theories?.

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developmental theories

Developmental Theories

Life-course perspective

Latent Trait perspective

why do we need developmental theories
Why do we need developmental theories?
  • Can criminologists be satisfied with existing theories?
  • Each of the theories tries to explain between individual differences
why do we need developmental theories3
Why do we need developmental theories?
  • What about within individual differences?
  • Do you believe that people do not change?
life course theory
Life course theory

Life is a dynamic process. As people travel through the life course they are bombarded by changing perceptions and experiences and as a result their behavior will change directions (sometimes for better and sometimes for worse)

developmental theories5
Developmental theories
  • Common tendencies in development
  • You can predict what a person went through
  • Do not ask the “relatively simple” questions: Why do people commit crime? Or Why do some people desist from crime?
  • They want to know how the criminal behavior changes over the life course
  • What are the possible scenarios?
age graded theory
Age-graded Theory

8-9 years

15-24 years

45-55 years

age and crime
Age and Crime
  • Age is inversely related to criminality
  • Younger people (regardless class, race, sex) commit crime more often than their older peers
dynamics of criminal behavior can you think of any theories that could explain these scenarios

Deviant

behavior

Deviant

behavior

Deviant

behavior

Nondeviant

behavior

Nondeviant

behavior

Deviant

behavior

Nondeviant

behavior

Nondeviant

behavior

Deviant

behavior

Nondeviant

behavior

Deviant

behavior

Nondeviant

behavior

Deviant

behavior

Deviant

behavior

Nondeviant

behavior

Dynamics of criminal behavior (can you think of any theories that could explain these scenarios?)
developmental theories9
DEVELOPMENTAL THEORIES
  • LATENT TRAIT THEORIES
  • The General Theory of Crime: Gottfredson and Hirschi
  • The Differential Coercion Theory: Colvin
  • The Control Balance Theory: Tittle
  • LIFE COURSE THEORIES
  • Age-Graded Theory: Sampson and Laub
  • Theory of Delinquent Development: Farrington
  • Interactional Theory: Thornberry
latent trait theory
LATENT TRAIT THEORY
  • Master Trait: Personal attributes present at birth or established early in life, and it remains stable over time, i.e., personality, intelligence, and genetic traits
  • Personal traits do not change
  • Criminal opportunities change
  • Maturity brings less opportunity
  • Early social control and proper parenting can reduce criminal propensity
mark colvin differential coercion theory
Mark Colvin-Differential coercion theory

Control varies along two continua and dimensions:

  • Non-coercive and consistent
  • Non-coercive and erratic
  • Coercive and consistent
  • Coercive and erratic
  • Likelihood of crime and deviance varies according to the amount of coercion experienced
age graded life course theory
Age-Graded Life-Course Theory
  • Causal relationship between early delinquent offending and later adult deviant behavior is not solely a product of individual characteristics
  • Social events may change some individuals while others continue to offend
  • Informal social bonds to family and employment during adulthood explain changes in criminality
life course model
Life-course model
  • Social bonds created by strong attachment to a spouse, military, job stability and commitment, and employee-employer interdependence reduce crime
  • The social ties embedded in adult transitions (i.e. marital attachment and job stability) explain variations in crime
farrignton s developmental theory
Farrignton’s Developmental Theory
  • Cambridge Study (longitudinal study of 411 London boys)
  • Persistent offenders start at 8 years old (property crimes)
  • Poor parental supervision, delinquent friends,, aggressiveness are the factors that predict the future offending
farrignton s desisters
Farrignton’s desisters
  • Shy personality
  • Having few friends (at age 8)
  • Having nondeviant families
  • Being highly regarded by their mothers
  • Social bond variables (similar to Sampson and Laub’s theory)
interactional theory
Interactional Theory
  • Terence Thornberry (1987)
  • Interactions are very important in shaping the behavior
  • Attachment to parents, peers, social institutions change over time
  • Further, delinquents not only are influenced by their social surroundings but also have an impact on others through their behavior
thornberry s model
Thornberry’s Model
  • Interactive or reciprocal
  • The base for the model came from control theoryand social learning theory
  • “Fundamental cause of delinquency lies in the weakening of social constrains over the conduct of the individuals”
  • Next step is association with delinquent peers
  • This association foster delinquent values and delinquent behavior
thornberry s model19
Thornberry’s Model

1

3

Weak parental

attachment

Delinquent

association

Delinquent

behavior

2

4

5

6

This model answers the contradiction between Social Learning theory and Control theory about what goes first: deviant behavior or association with delinquent peers.

thornberry s model20
Thornberry’s Model
  • Interactional process creates a “behavioral trajectory” that “predicts increasing involvement in delinquency and crime”
  • Initial weak bonds lead to high delinquency, the high delinquency further weakens the conventional bonds
  • Combination of these effects make it difficult to reestablish bonds to conventional society at later age
thornberry s model21
Thornberry’s Model
  • What about effect of employment, college, military, and marriage?
  • These variables play an important role in determining whether delinquency will continue or desist
patterson s social interactional developmental model 1989
Patterson’s Social-Interactional Developmental Model (1989)
  • Children and their environment are in constant interchange
  • The start of antisocial behavior happens in dysfunctional families (harsh and inconsistent discipline, little positive parental involvement, poor monitoring)
  • Family members directly “train” the child to perform antisocial behaviors
patterson s social interactional developmental model 198923
Patterson’s Social-Interactional Developmental Model (1989)
  • In dysfunctional families, coercion is a way of life
  • Child might see that only coercion can stop other family members from employing hitting
  • Antisocial children manifest “conduct problems” outside the home (rejected by peers)
  • Later they gravitate toward “deviant peer groups”
  • This association reinforces delinquent behavior
  • Later these children will have dysfunctional families and promote coercion
tittle s control balance theory
Tittle’s Control Balance Theory
  • Control theorists focus on the factors that “restrain” the behavior of individuals
  • Tittle made an innovation by arguing that people are not only objects of control but also agents of control
  • Each person has a certain amount of control that she/she is under and a certain amount of control she/he exerts
tittle s control balance theory25
Tittle’s Control Balance Theory
  • Tittle sought to have a “General Theory” and thus to explain all forms of deviance
  • For some, the relative amount of control is in balance (Control Balance )
  • Some suffer from deficit of control and others experience a control surplus (Control Imbalance)
  • Control balance is associated with conformity and Control imbalance tends to be associated with deviance
tittle s control balance theory26
Tittle’s Control Balance Theory

Exploitation

Submission

Defiance

Predation

Balance

Plunder

Decadence

Conformity

Repression

Autonomy

tittle s control balance theory27
Tittle’s Control Balance Theory

White-collar crimes

vandalism

Serious forms of crime

Exploitation

Submission

Defiance

Predation

Balance

Plunder

Decadence

Conformity

Repression

Autonomy

tittle s control balance theory28
Tittle’s Control Balance Theory
  • Predisposition to deviance is in each of us
  • Human nature has a strong urge for autonomy (to escape the control that others wish to impose on us)
  • Motivation appears when two conditions transpire: a person becomes aware of his/her control imbalance and realize that deviant behavior can change this imbalance and person must experience" negative emotion” of being humiliated or denigrated
tittle s control balance theory29
Tittle’s Control Balance Theory
  • Once motivation has emerged, deviant behavior still might not occur
  • Opportunity must be present
  • Constraints (fear of being caught, moral ambitions, social bonds) also must be overcome