Families Delinquency and Crime According essay

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Reclaiming Children and Youth.. Retrieved October 02, 2009 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-206794465.html Wester, K, MacDonald, C & Lewis, T. (2008). A glimpse into the lives of nine youths in a correctional facility: Insight into theories of delinquency.(Report). Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling. American Counseling Association. 2008. Retrieved October 02,

2009 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-178713105.html

Gibbs, J., Potter, G.B., DiBiase, a.M. & Devlin, R. (2008). The EQUIP program: Helping youth to see -- really see -- the other person: Youth who present anti-social behavior need powerful interventions that strengthen empathy, counter negative peer influence, and challenge thinking errors. Reclaiming Children and Youth. Retrieved October 02, 2009

from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-183982220.html

Harkwick, K. & Brannigan, a. (2008). Self-control, child effects, and informal social control: A

direct test of the primacy of sociogenic factors. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Canadian Criminal Justice Association. Retrieved October 02, 2009

from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-179205954.html

Hirschi, T. (N.d.) Social control theory. On the compatibility of rational choice and social control theories of crime. Retrieved October 2, 2009 from http://www.popcenter.org/library/reading/PDFs/ReasoningCriminal/07_hirschi.pdf

Jensen, G.F. (2003). Social Control Theories. Encyclopedia of Criminology. Richard a. Wright

(Editor). Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. Retrieved October 2, 2009 from http://sitemason.vanderbilt.edu/files/l/l3Bguk/soccon.pdf

Self-Control Theory -- a general theory of crime and deviance. (N.d.). University of Kentucky.

Retrieved October 2, 2009 from www.uky.edu/~jkerr0/Lecture10_SELF_CONTROL_THEORY.ppt

Introductory Paragraph

The results of low self-control depict a critical test of informal social control theory. As this issue constitutes a critical contemporary concern in regard to the reported increasing number of youths involved with the legal system, this paper examines and compares components and considerations of self-control theory and social control theory, During this study, the researcher asserts that inefficacy and instability experienced in informal social control in the family model may contribute to negative measures of self-control in the individual. The researcher presents information from credible researched literature, complimented with information about James, a person the researcher has personal knowledge about and Cory, a participant in a study, noted in the reference list.

Jensen (2003) notes that according to social control theories of crime and delinquency, beliefs, commitments, norms, relationships and values related to the potential for law-breaking.

However, when social control theories "are taken to the extreme, social control theory can be an "amotivational" (Jensen, p. 1). In regard to self-control theory, two types of relevant research exist.

In one line of research, self-control is inferred to be the stable underlying factor that explains the continuity of deviant behavior or conformity over the life course. The correlations between childhood transgressions and more serious offenses later in life is taken as evidence of an underlying lack of self-control. In contrast, conformity at various ages is attributed to the early establishment of self-control.

The second line of research attempts to more directly test the theory by operationalizing "low self-control' and relating it to law-breaking with other criminogenic variables controlled. (Jensen, (Jensen, 2003, p. 14)

Individuals with low-self-control frequently engage in the following risky behaviors:

Drinking alcohol

Using and abusing drugs


Having children out of wedlock



Thrill-seeking having extra-marital sex having sex with prostitutes having unprotected sex spending money unwisely. ("Self-Control Theory…, N.d., p.3 )

For a person to learn self-control, three minimum conditions must be met. These include a parent or guardian being present to:

1. Monitor the child's behavior.

2. recognize deviant behavior when it occurs and

3. punish the deviant behavior immediately ("Self-Control Theory…, N.d., p.5 )

Currently, according to Jensen (2003), self-control theory significantly relates to law-breaking, albeit, it may be challenged to constitute a general theory of crime. The researcher concurs with Gibbs, Potter, DiBiase and Devlin (2008) that low self-control constitutes a primary factor contributing to delinquency and crime over the person's life course . The literature also purports that family processes of informal social control serves as a primary component of low self-control. Nevertheless, ineffective informal social control, the researcher asserts, should not at any point in the life course be attributed as a substitute for self-control.[continue]

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