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Jay H (14)

Week 11 Lecture - Developmental and Life-Course Theories

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Simon Fraser University
Jay H

Final Exam:  Half of the exam, you telling you know the theory, you apply the theory *** DEVELOPMENTAL AND LIFE-COURSE THEORIES *** Developmental Theories  What are developmental theories  Explanatory models of behavior that follow individuals throughout their life course of criminal offending  TIME is key component o Repeated measures of same individuals over time o Makes it very expensive to test, hard to follow up on  Previous theories only investigated criminological factors at one time o All of them are cross-sectional studies  What explains physical aggression at age 41-45? At 11-15? o Now we track them  Different factors at different points of life Developmental Criminology  Seek to explain various stages of criminal offending  Attempt to explain both o Qualitative differences o Quantitative differences  Emphasizes evolution of offenders criminality over time  Examine parts of the individual criminal career o Career paths (ex. university is a section of your life)  Generally, individuals begin with minor offending and progress towards more serious crimes o Get more and more complex over time, probably from learning and their capability to do these duties  Who is most at risk for continued violent behavior?  Examination of offender frequency o How often? What type of offences? How do these people evolve?  Qualitative differences o Assessing the relationship between different offences (ie. relationship between sexual abuse and sexual assault) o Identification of pathways (ie. sequence of behaviors  X  Y  Z  Ex) if you come from a sexually abusive family, interaction between physically and sexually abusive backgrounds may lead to a career path of sexual offences  Early conduct problems, the more likely to you will continue on to offend  Quantitative differences o Percentage of offenders who remain on various pathways o Frequency of an behaviour of interest on X pathway o Add it, justify qualitative work  Key concepts o Onset – when the offender begins offending (or when a behavior of interest begins – physical violence) o Frequency – how often the offender offends o Duration – interval between first and last crime o Desistence – when the offender stops committing crime Sampson and Laub (1993)  Social control (bonding) framework  Age-graded o Various informal social controls become more and less important age various stages of ones life  Parenting styles (supervision, warmth, consistent discipline) important in childhood  School attendance and peer groups important in adolescence  Martial stability, military service, and employment important in adulthood  Known as “life events:  Chan change an individual’s involvement in criminal activity  Concept of cumulative disadvantage o At any given stage, if no bonding (social control) occurs incases the likelihood of continued offending o Poor bonds at one stage reduce chances of bonding at later stage(s)  (Jay) concepts not clear because this is a macro level analysis  Emphasized the importance of transitions  These are seen as events that often change the trajectory of criminal or non-criminal behavior o Marriage o Military career o Employment o Children  Trajectories o Pathways or line of development over the lifespan such as work life, marriage, parenthood, self-esteem and criminal behavior  Transitions o Life events (eg. First job, marriage) that are embedded in trajectories and evolve o Some trajectories are age graded and others are not Moffitt (1993)  Two types/groups of offenders o Adolescent limited o Life-course persistent  Assumes early conduct/behavior problems (ie. early age of onset) indicative of high antisocial propensity  The earlier conduct/behavioural problems start the more likely they will persist  Adolescent limited o ~80% of all offenders o Offending occurred in youth/adolescence o Seen as normal teenage behaviour o Causal mechanism  Association with peers  No underlying (ND/FA) problems  Life course persistent o ~4-8% of offenders o Commit the vast amount of serious crimes o Interaction between neurological deficits and disadvantaged environments  Deficits impact ability to learn  ND x FA needs to be reinforced  ND – problem with your brain that impacts learning o Problem behavior beings early in life  Difficult temperaments  Hitting, biting, kicking at high frequencies, general conduct disorder  Continuity of antisocial propensity is key o These children start young and continue throughout life course  Concept of heterotypic continuity  persistent antisociality traits o Underlying trait o Antisociality o Remains stable o Changes manifestations (conceptually similar)  Shoplifting at age 10  selling drugs and stealing cars at age 16  robbery and rap at age 22  fraud and child abuse at age 30 Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990)  DESCRIBES EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT MOFFITT SAID  General Theory of Crime o Main concept – low self control o All individuals predisposed  Selfish, self-centered o Childre
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