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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 140757 Find in a Library
Title: Testing the Core Empirical Implications of Gottfredson and Hirschi's General Theory of Crime
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:30  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1993)  Pages:5-29
Author(s): H G Grasmick; C R Tittle; R J Bursik Jr; B J Arnekiev
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 25
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data collected on a randomly selected sample of 389 male and female adults as part of the 1991 Oklahoma City Survey were used to test the argument of Gottfredson and Hirschi that low self-control, in interaction with criminal opportunity, is the major cause of crime.
Abstract: A multiplicative term involving low self-control and crime opportunity was chosen to test the interaction argument. A factor analysis of items designed to measure low self- control was consistent with the contention of Gottfredson and Hirschi that that trait is unidimensional. The prediction that the multiplicative term for the interaction of low self- control and crime opportunity will have a significant positive effect was upheld. Evidence of the second prediction that the magnitude of the effect of the interaction should be greater than the main effect of low self-control was less definitive but still generally supportive of the theory. The results for both force and fraud fail to support the third prediction that crime opportunity will not have a significant main effect. For fraud, the main effect of crime opportunity was nearly equal in magnitude to the interaction effect, and the difference between the two was insignificant. The findings for force were more inconsistent with the prediction. The data show crime opportunity as defined by Gottfredson and Hirschi to be important in providing the condition under which low self-control has its primary effect on crime but also as a significant predictor of fraud and force independent of its interaction with low self-control. 6 notes, 2 tables, and 55 references
Main Term(s): Crime causes theory; Opportunity theory
Index Term(s): Crime analysis; Criminology theory evaluation; Fraud; Individual behavior
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