Life-course transitions, self-control and desistance from crime

Forrest, Walter and Hay, Carter (2011) Life-course transitions, self-control and desistance from crime. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 11 5: 487-513. doi:10.1177/1748895811415579

Author Forrest, Walter
Hay, Carter
Title Life-course transitions, self-control and desistance from crime
Journal name Criminology and Criminal Justice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1748-8958
Publication date 2011-01-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1748895811415579
Volume 11
Issue 5
Start page 487
End page 513
Total pages 27
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In recent years a number of studies have observed empirical associations between the occurrence of key life events such as marriage, employment, and military service, and desistance from crime. The relationships between these life-course transitions and changes in criminal behaviour have been cited as evidence in support of social control and social learning theories of delinquency and in contradiction to alternative theoretical perspectives that downplay the significance of life events in the development of criminal behaviour over the lifespan. In this paper we develop and test an alternative explanation for the apparent impact of marriage on criminal and delinquent behaviour. We argue that transitions such as marriage might also promote desistance, in part, by enabling offenders to develop and exercise increased self-control. We then test this hypothesis using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) and explore the implications of our findings for the study of desistance and for self-control theory.
Keyword Desistance
Life course transitions
Self Control
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 19 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 09 Mar 2015, 23:59:18 EST by Walter Forrest on behalf of School of Social Science