Self-Control Theory Of Criminal Behavior Term Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Term Paper Paper: #20404070 Related Topics: Parental Responsibility, Social Control Theory, Birth Control, Attachment Theory
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Whereas it remains true that African-Americans and other racial minorities continue to be overrepresented in the American prison population, both common sense and the general consensus of the criminal justice community and sociological experts suggest that this hardly a direct function of race. Rather, it merely reflects the unfortunate correlation between poverty, comparative lack of educational and employment opportunities in the American urban centers where many minorities reside, as well as of the social values that tend to prevail in many of those impoverished communities (Schmalleger 1997).

First, the quality of public school facilities and programs is directly related to the economic realities of their surrounding areas; second, within many segments of minority urban social culture, education is not valued the way it is in middle class and upper class communities and students who make the effort to apply themselves academically are more likely to be targeted for ridicule by other students than admired; and third, the urban environment is often dominated by street gangs and a criminal culture that elevates criminals to positions of perceived status on the streets (Pinizzotto 2007).

To make matters worse, urban gangs tend to recruit prospects for membership among middle school aged children who are both easily impressed by criminal role models and equally susceptible to intimidation and predatory victimization when they resist associating with neighborhood gang "sets" (Pinizzotto 2007). As a result, even exemplary parents who provide appropriate messages and parenting styles encounter difficulty when their efforts at home are contradicted by attitudes and values prevailing within the community to which their children are continually exposed.

Genetic Predisposition to Criminality:

As is the case with regard to every other conceivable aspect of


However, the difficulty ascribing differences in human behavior to genes or environmental influence is in distinguishing inherent genetic tendencies from parenting influences (Gerrig & Zimbardo 2005).

Unlike the case with laboratory animals, humans cannot be bred or separated from their parents at birth for genetic research into the source of their behavioral tendencies.

Surely, traits of personality such as patience, impulsivity, quickness to anger, and self-control have specifically identifiable genetic profiles, making it even more difficult to connect parenting style to self-control issues in children, much less to such behavior that rises to the level of criminality.


significant portion of serious crime is not related to violence or a function of lack of self-control, regardless of what factors are responsible for the individual's gravitation toward criminal conduct. Most instances of violence are criminal and lack of self-control does account for some violent crime as well as some non-violent crime, but there are more non-violent types of crime than violent crimes. Furthermore, many instances of both violent crime and non-violent crime are not related to self-control issues; certain types of crime specifically require patience, self-control, and long-term planning.

Certainly, lack of self-control is sometimes a factor in criminal conduct, and some parenting styles exacerbate any natural tendency in that direction rather than addressing it positively during the formative childhood years. In some cases, there may indeed be a direct link between parenting style, lack of self-control, and crimes relating to self-control issues. However, this model likely applies only to a very narrow subset of the myriad forms of criminal conduct and personal tendencies in that direction. Ultimately, the self- control theory of crime applies only to that subset rather than explaining criminality in a broader sense.


Gerrig, R., Zimbardo, P. (2005) Psychology and Life 17th ed.

Boston: Allyn & Bacon

Innes, B. (2007) Serial Killers: The Stories of History's Most Evil Murderers. London: Quercas

Macionis, J.J. (2002) Sociology. New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Pinizzotto, a.J. (2007) Street-Gang Mentality: A Mosaic of Remorseless Violence and Relentless Loyalty. Federal Bureau of Investigation Law Enforcement Journal. Vol. 76 No.9 (Sep/07).

Schmalleger, F.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Gerrig, R., Zimbardo, P. (2005) Psychology and Life 17th ed.

Boston: Allyn & Bacon

Innes, B. (2007) Serial Killers: The Stories of History's Most Evil Murderers. London: Quercas

Macionis, J.J. (2002) Sociology. New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Cite this Document:

"Self-Control Theory Of Criminal Behavior" (2008, January 12) Retrieved September 28, 2021, from

"Self-Control Theory Of Criminal Behavior" 12 January 2008. Web.28 September. 2021. <>

"Self-Control Theory Of Criminal Behavior", 12 January 2008, Accessed.28 September. 2021,

Related Documents
Self-Control Theory of Crime One
Words: 1238 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 42980436

(Nofziger, 2001, p. 10) All sociological (subculture) theories do not blame the parents of deviant children for bad parenting, some in fact say it isn't an abundance of bad parenting but a lack or limitation of positive parenting in a subculture that has peers training individual children, regardless of risk status to be deviant. (Brendtro, Mitchell & Mccall, 2007, p. 200) Most stress the need for parents to reassert focus on

Analyzing the Self Control Theory
Words: 1428 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Psychiatry Paper #: 84409415

Self-Control Theory and ADHD Self-Control Theory Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) General Crime Theory, now referred to as the theory of self-control, remains one of the most well-known theories (Tibbetts & Gibson, 2002). Low self-control remains the main component of their theory. The time-stable individual difference that regulates behavior is low self-control. From what I learnt, individuals who have low self-control are mainly due to poor or ineffective parenting techniques during the early

Criminological Theory Self-Control Theory Vs.
Words: 1424 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 58672773

A third would prove less immediately apparent. One respondent remembered with mild embarrassment a time when he was caught shoplifting a candy bar. He was 7 years old and was in a convenience mart with his mother. He asked her if she would buy him a Snickers Bar and she refused. She told him she didn't have the money for it right then. Therefore, when she turned her back, he

Analyzing Low Self Control Theory
Words: 2356 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 29114176

Low Self -Control Theory This theory deviates from the emphasis on informal relational controls and concentrates instead on individual controls. Through effective parenting practices of discipline and monitoring, some kids develop the ability to appropriately react to situations requiring deferred gratification planning. Delinquency is observed more frequently among males than females. One explanation for this is the divergent etiologies of delinquency for females and males. Males might be relatively more susceptible

Criminal Behavior
Words: 2989 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 98391347

Criminal Behavior Approaches to Understand Criminal Behavior Psychological Approaches Sociological Approaches Biological Approaches Psychosurgery Chemical Methods of Control Imagine yourself having a walk in the premises of your house and a stone come flying through the boundary wall and hits you. As a layman, one might face difficulty in defining this incident. It can be termed as an assault, an act of violence or a criminal offence. This is a layman's term to define this act but

Criminal Behaviour Chapter I Introduction
Words: 6507 Length: 24 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 18472521

" These authors purport that although mood and behaviour may constitute a vital part in disorderly outcomes of drinking scenarios, other social factors can equally contribute influences. These factors, according to these authors, can be categorized by the following factors: the attitude and motivations that young binge drinkers bring to drinking, the social and peer group norms under which they operate, and features relating to the drinking environment. Reasonable Investigations In the journal