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Modern Control Theory and the Limits of Criminal Justice$
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Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190069797

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190069797.001.0001

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Multiple Causes and Multiple Factors in a Choice Theory of Crime

Multiple Causes and Multiple Factors in a Choice Theory of Crime

(p.93) Chapter 5 Multiple Causes and Multiple Factors in a Choice Theory of Crime
Modern Control Theory and the Limits of Criminal Justice

Michael Gottfredson

Travis Hirschi

Oxford University Press

Creating concrete operational indicators for narrative depictions of complex concepts, identifying and recruiting appropriate samples, and identifying designs permitting informed causal judgments in a largely nonexperimental field are among the most challenging intellectual achievements in the behavioral sciences. This chapter discusses misuses of self-control theory in research on crime and delinquency. It presents a critical evaluation of the “sole cause” and “spuriousness thesis” in depictions of self-control theory. Multiple factor and risk factor approaches as alternatives to general theories are discussed. In addition, the chapter examines how a choice theory integrates demographic factors and crime and the idea of family variables as a structural approach to crime theory. The integration of individual differences and sociological theory is also discussed.

Keywords:   spuriousness, sole cause fallacy, multiple factor approach, crime, gender and crime, age and crime, motives for crime, family and crime

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