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NCJ Number: 136262 Find in a Library
Title: Not All Criminal Career Models Are Equally Valid
Journal: Criminology  Volume:30  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1992)  Pages:133-140
Author(s): A Barnett; A Blumstein; J Cohen; D P Farrington
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 8
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The authors posit that different factors influence the varied facets of a criminal career as opposed to a single-factor approach that assumes all aspects of a criminal career are influenced by the same factors in the same way.
Abstract: Greenberg compares two competing models. One, based on the ideas of Gottfredson and Hirschi, suggests that all aspects of criminal behavior are a manifestation of the single underlying construct of criminal propensity. The second calls for a separate examination of participation in offending, characterization of the continuing criminal career, and termination of offending. The current authors argue that not all tests of a mathematical model are equally illuminating. Further, they indicate that Greenberg's empirical tests assume a mixed Poisson model which determine that an offender's arrest or conviction rate has a constant value except for random yearly fluctuations. Since Greenberg made no provision for onset, he treated all criminal careers as already in progress at the time data collection started. Moreover, Greenberg explicitly ruled out desistance and did not allow for slackening of activity before time observations ended. The current authors speculate that onset, persistence, and desistance are distinct aspects of the criminal career and that various factors affect these aspects differently. 16 references and 1 table
Main Term(s): Criminal career patterns
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Criminology theory evaluation; Mathematical modeling
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