Where Self-Control Comes From: On the Development of Self-Control and Its Relationship to Deviance Over Time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study tested a set of interrelated theoretical propositions based on self-control theory (M. R. Gottfredson & T. Hirschi 1990). Data were collected on 1,155 children at 4.5 years, at 8.5 years (3rd grade), and at 10.5 years (5th grade) as part of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development longitudinal study over a 6-year period. Findings based on simple structural equation models and latent growth modeling of developmental trajectories suggest that (a) there was great construct stability of self-control and deviance over the 6-year period, (b) there was positive growth in self-control trajectory over time, (c) parenting predicted this trajectory but also explained variability in self-control at initial status, (d) there was a declining deviance trajectory over time, (e) self-control at initial status reduced the unexplained deviance variance by 44.8%, and (f) both the intercept and slope factors shared about 75% of the variance based on growth-to-growth curve predictive models of self-control and deviance. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for self-control theory and future empirical work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-257
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • age-crime curve
  • delinquency
  • general theory of crime
  • parenting
  • self regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Where Self-Control Comes From: On the Development of Self-Control and Its Relationship to Deviance Over Time'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this