Laub and Sampson’s Age-Graded Theory of Informal Social Control

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Plenty of children engage in rough-and-tough play and may be a little mischievous from time to time. As they grow into adolescence, they may start committing crimes and get in trouble with the law, but most of these individuals outgrow their behavior and stop offending. What makes individuals persist or desist from crime? What are the key causal factors and mechanisms that help this behavior desist? An in-depth synthesis of John Laub and Robert Sampson’s theory of age-graded informal social control will provide insight as to why individuals desist from offending. In Laub and Sampson’s theory of age-graded social control, they are interested in the agencies and social experiences and how they play a role in whether an individual persists…show more content…
This theory explains why individuals stop offending and accounts for the reward systems that are in place. Bad behavior may look appealing in situations only where the response to that behavior is beneficial to the individual. On the flip side, when good behavior looks rewarding in a particular situation, the individual will conform to what is acceptable (Moffitt 1993). Life-Course Persistent offenders are anti-social at an early age and continue to be antisocial through adulthood. The continuation of antisocial behavior will indicate who will be a life-course persistent offender. This theory explains why individuals continue to offend based on biological differences they have during adolescence as well as why these individuals commit most of the offenses in adulthood. Life-Course Persistent theory takes into account different traits, environment, and developmental processes. There is an ongoing relationship between personal trains and environments contexts (Moffitt 1993). Sampson and Laub’s (2003) theory of age-graded informal social control heavily focuses on three factors: employment, military service, and marriage. Intervening mechanisms and the role of agency are what determine if an individual will persist or desist from offending. Employment, military service, and marriage are important factors in the age-graded theory of informal social control

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