On the relationships between gender, power control, self-control, and crime

Brenda Sims Blackwell, Alex R. Piquero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


This article bridges the gap between two theories that attempt to explain the gender - crime relationship. Power-control theory posits that power relationships of parents in the public sphere are reflected in their relationship at home. Different kinds of households are thus distinguished by degrees of patriarchy. Differential socialization generates gender differences in crime across households. Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory purports that low self-control explains all crime across all groups, yet little research explored the link between low self-control and crime both among, as well as between, genders. Linking low self-control and power-control theories, this study examined the relationships gender, power-control, self-control, and crime. Results indicated that while low self-control explained both male and female criminality, the effect of parenting on the development of low self-control was complex; males and females differentially responded to parents' control. The gender-based processes that impact the development of self-control should further be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

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