ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Stability of crime over the life course

Updated on March 6, 2018

Crime that is persistent over the life course has been studied by many different scholars. There are many different theories for why this occurs in some individuals and not others. Dysfunctional families are often thought to be one major contributing factor of this occurrence. However; some studies seem to show conflicting opinions on this subject. Poverty, neglect, and genetic disadvantages are usually other factors that can come into play when it comes to someone ending up a career criminal.

Some of the most significant data on the subject of crime over the life course and its possible cause is that pertaining to mental health problems. Most people at some point in their life experiment with some type of criminal act. However; many do not get into trouble and end their delinquent behavior before getting caught up in the cycle of a life of crime. Furthermore; even people who do get into trouble with the law usually do not turn out to be career criminals. It is common that most criminals will at some point in their lives stop committing criminal acts.

Problematic behaviors such as being disruptive have been found to show moderate to strong levels of stability for those exhibiting such features from a very early age (Campbell et al., 2000, p. 474). Furthermore; Loeber (1982, p. 9), has came to a similar conclusion, noting that early signs of bad behavior seem to signal that a future pattern of criminal behavior is likely. However; it is important to note that the stability and persistence of life course criminality is not found in the majority of the population but in only about 5% of it (Nagin & Tremblay, 1999). The extremes of antisocial behavior personalities, those being very high or low in these traits, have been found to sustain stability the best. Yet pro-social behavioral traits are still by far the most stable trait of all (Wright et al., 2008, p. 28).

Reasons for stability can be attributed to many different things from early onset of aggression to genetic and environmental factors. Genetics has been proven to play an important role in anti-social personalities and stability of criminal behavior (Wright et al., 2008). In one study of twins the environment was proven to have little effect on delinquency compared to that of genetics (Rowe, 1986).

In conclusion, while criminal behavior seems to be a very stable over a person’s life course as mentioned earlier this is not the case for the majority of the population. Reasons for stability are primarily due to the fact that there are many contributing factors to this trait. Wherefore; there is not just one variable that can be changed which would alter this behavior but many. Deeply ingrained personality dysfunctions are hard enough to alter, but when coupled with a genetic disposition, and an environment riddled with anti-social personalities, life course criminal behavior becomes highly stable (Wright et al., 2008).

References


Campbell, S. B., Shaw, D. S., & Gilliom, M. (2000). Early externalizing behavior problems: Toddlers and preschoolers at risk for later maladjustment. Development and psychopathology, 12(3), 467-488.

Caspi, A., & Silva, P. A. (1995). Temperamental qualities at age three predict personality traits in young adulthood: Longitudinal evidence from a birth cohort. Child development, 66(2), 486-498.

Loeber, R. (1982). The stability of antisocial and delinquent child behavior: A review. Child development, 53(6), 1431-1446.

Nagin, D., & Tremblay, R. E. (1999). Trajectories of boy’s physical aggression, opposition, and hyperactivity on the path to physically violent and nonviolent juvenile delinquency. Child development, 70(5), 1181-1196.

Olweus, D. (1979). Stability of aggressive reaction patterns in males: A review. Psychological bulletin, 86, 852-875.

Rowe, D. C. (1986). Genetic and environmental components of antisocial behavior: A study of 265 twin pairs. Criminology, 24(3), 513-532.

Wright, J. P., Tibbetts, S. G., & Daigle, L. E. (2008). Criminals in the making. Criminality across the life course.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)