Essay about The Sources of Self-Control

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The nature of self-control theories, and a possible explanation of what draws individuals to commit crime, stems from research conducted by Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi in 1990. Initially, Hirschi’s early research suggested that sustainment of self-control was a result of family bonds, academics, work, and/or religious and personal reasons. Hirschi had concluded that “the major ‘cause’ of low self-control thus appears to be ineffective child-rearing” (Lilly et al., p. 97) However, by 1990, Gottfredson and Hirschi had “abandoned the idea that continuing social bonds insulate against illegal involvement in favor of the proposition that self-control, internalized early in life, determines who will fall prey to the seductions of …show more content…
The nature of self-control theories, and a possible explanation of what draws individuals to commit crime, stems from research conducted by Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi in 1990. Initially, Hirschi’s early research suggested that sustainment of self-control was a result of family bonds, academics, work, and/or religious and personal reasons. Hirschi had concluded that “the major ‘cause’ of low self-control thus appears to be ineffective child-rearing” (Lilly et al., p. 97) However, by 1990, Gottfredson and Hirschi had “abandoned the idea that continuing social bonds insulate against illegal involvement in favor of the proposition that self-control, internalized early in life, determines who will fall prey to the seductions of crime” (Lilly, Cullen, & Ball, 2011, pp. 121-122). Gottfredson and Hirschi’s new research suggests that committing crime can be a stress relieving activity that produces euphoric effects for some individuals. They note that crimes such as stealing cars, money, jewelry, and other items with a high monetary value “provides short-term gratification” and “relief from situational aggravations” (Lilly et al., p. 122). A far more important point, however, is that Gottfredson and Hirschi argued the idea that criminological theorists essentially ignore the facts about “the nature of crime uncovered by empirical research” (Lilly et al., p. 122). They further state that there is a correlation between criminal behavior and negative personality traits

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