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NCJRS Celebrates National Library Week April 12-18

National Library Week

Started in 1958, National Library Week is a nationwide observance celebrated by all types of libraries - including the NCJRS Virtual Library. NCJRS invites you to explore the breadth and scope of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection and services. With more than 220,000 collection documents and 60,000 online resources, including all known Office of Justice Programs works, it is one of the world’s largest criminal justice special collections.

We encourage your Feedback. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Virtual Library and Abstracts Database, how you access the collection, and any ways we can improve our services.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 185188     Find in a Library
Title: Integrated Theories: Latent Trait and Developmental Theories (From Criminology, Seventh Edition, P 285-315, 2000, Larry J. Siegel, -- See NCJ-185178)
Author(s): Larry J. Siegel Ph.D.
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 31
  Annotation: Criminologists have recently been combining elements from a number of different theoretical models into integrated theories of crime including latent trait, developmental, and life course theories.
Abstract: Latent trait theories hold that some underlying condition present at birth or soon after controls behavior. Suspect traits include low IQ, impulsivity, and personality structure. This underlying trait explains the continuity of offending because, once present, it remains with a person throughout his or her life. Latent trait theories developed by Gottfredson, Hirschi, Wilson, and Hernstein integrate choice theory concepts; people with latent traits choose crime over non-crime and the opportunity for crime mediates their choice. Developmental theories look at multiple factors derived from a number of different structural and process theories. Elliott's integrated theory holds that social position controls life events and that strain leads to weakened bonds. Life course theories argue that events occurring over the life course influence criminal choices and that the cause of crime constantly changes as people mature. At first, the nuclear family influences behavior; during adolescence, the peer group dominates; in adulthood, marriage and career are critical. Important life course theories have been formulated by Thornberry, Farrington, and Sampson. 143 notes, 4 tables, 7 figures, and 6 photographs
Main Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation
Index Term(s): Intelligence Quotient (IQ) ; Social conditions ; Personality assessment ; Child development ; Youth development ; Cognitive developmental theory ; Crime causes theory ; Integrated theories of crime ; Developmental criminology
Sale Source: Wadsworth Publishing Co
Ten Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
United States of America
Publisher URL: 
Type: Overview Text
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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