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NCJ Number: 230223 Find in a Library
Title: Activity Fields and the Dynamics of Crime: Advancing Knowledge About the Role of the Environment in Crime Causation
Journal: Journal of Quantitative Criminology  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:March 2010  Pages:55-87
Author(s): Per-Olof H. Wikstrom; Vania Ceccato; Beth Hardie; Kyle Treiber
Date Published: March 2010
Page Count: 33
Document: PDF
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study sought to contribute to the advancement of theory regarding the role of the social environment in crime causation, and to the development new methodologies that can better capture the role of exploration of the causes of acts of crime.
Abstract: The current understanding of the role of the social environment in crime causation is at best rudimentary. Guided by the theoretical framework of Situational Action Theory, and using data from the ESRC financed Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+), this paper aims to propose how to better theorize and study the role of the social environment, particularly the person and place interaction, in crime causation. The paper introduces, and illustrates the usefulness of, a space–time budget methodology as a means of capturing people’s exposure to settings and describing their activity fields. The paper suggests and demonstrates that, combined with a small area community survey and psychometric measures of individual characteristics, a space–time budget is a powerful tool for advancing our knowledge about the role of the social environment, and its interaction with people’s crime propensity, in crime causation. The unique data allows for the study of the convergence in time and space of crime propensity, criminogenic exposure and crime events. As far as what is known, such an analysis has never before been carried out. The findings show that there are a) clear associations between young people’s activity fields and their exposure to criminogenic settings, b) clear associations between their exposure to criminogenic settings and their crime involvement, and crucially, c) that the influence of criminogenic exposure depends on a person’s crime propensity. Having a crime-averse morality and strong ability to exercise self-control appears to make young people practically situationally immune to the influences of criminogenic settings, while having a crime-prone morality and poor ability to exercise self-control appears to make young people situationally vulnerable to the influences of criminogenic settings. Tables, figures, annexes, and references (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Crime analysis; Crime Causes; Crime patterns; Environmental influences; Situational theory; Social conditions
Note: For additional articles see NCJ-230220-222 and NCJ-230224-226.
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