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NCJ Number: 94418 Find in a Library
Title: Unemployment and Criminal Involvement - An Investigation of Reciprocal Causal Structures
Journal: American Sociological Review  Volume:49  Issue:3  Dated:(June 1984)  Pages:398-411
Author(s): T P Thornberry; R L Christenson
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Current etiological theories of criminal behavior are unidirectional in structure, positing that crime is caused by a variety of social factors; these theories tend to ignore the reciprocal causal influence of crime on those factors.
Abstract: The present paper assesses the theoretical and empirical consequences associated with unidirectional explanations of criminal involvement. Using a linear panel model approach, it also examines the advantages of reciprocal causal structures by estimating a nonrecursive model of the relationship between crime and one other variable, unemployment. Results indicate that a reciprocal model is far more accurate than a traditional, unidirectional one; unemployment and crime appear to mutually influence one another over the individual's life span. Implications of these findings for etiological theories of criminal behavior are discussed. (Author abstract)
Index Term(s): Economic influences; Employment-crime relationships; Mathematical modeling; Research design
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