Self-control and criminal career dimensions

Alex R. Piquero, Terrie E. Moffitt, Bradley E. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The criminal career paradigm parcels offenders' careers into multiple dimensions, including participation, frequency, persistence, seriousness, career length, and desistance, and each dimension may have different causes. In a forceful critique of this perspective, Gottfredson and Hirschi claim that low self-control equally predicts all dimensions of criminal behavior and that its effect holds steady across types of people, including both men and women. This study examines the link between low self-control and the career dimensions of participation, frequency, persistence, and desistance from crime. Analyses also investigate whether self-control distinguishes between persistence and desistance. Using data from 985 participants in the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Human Development Study, the authors found overall support for Gottfredson and Hirschi's position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-89
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Criminal careers
  • Desistance
  • Participation
  • Persistence
  • Self-control

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