The General Theory Of Crime

2462 Words Aug 5th, 2014 10 Pages
“Historically, criminologists have separately studied the pattern and causes of criminal offending and the pattern and causes of victimization” (Piquero et al., 2005, p.55). This began to change when criminologists recognized a strong relationship between offending and victimization. Scholars argue that this relationship can be explained by a common underlying trait of low self-control. Gottfredson and Hirschi first introduced low self-control as an explanation of offending in the General Theory of Crime, and more recent studies have applied the theory to victimization. In this paper, we will first discuss Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime as it applies to criminality. Then, we will review the literature to see how their theory can be applied to victimization.
The general theory of crime, also known as self-control theory, was developed by Gottfredson and Hirschi as an explanation for crime causation. The general theory of crime posits that self-control, internalized early in life, determines who will be likely to commit crime. In forming the general theory of crime, Gottfredson and Hirschi integrated aspects of other theories, borrowing concepts from routine activities theory, rational choice theory, and other psychological and biologically based social theories of crime. The theory purports that the most important factor which will determine one’s level of self-control is the quality of parenting. If a child is brought up in an abusive or neglectful…

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