When does self-control matter? The interaction between morality and self-control in crime causation

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When does self-control matter? The interaction between morality and self-control in crime causation

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title When does self-control matter? The interaction between morality and self-control in crime causation
Author(s) Wikström, Per-Olof ; Svensson, Robert
Date 2010
English abstract
In this paper we will test one of the key assumptions of Situational Action Theory: that individuals’ (law-relevant) morality is more fundamental to their crime involvement than their ability to exercise self-control. We specifically hypothesize that, for individuals with a strong morality, their capability to exercise self-control plays less of a role in their crime involvement than it does for individuals with a weak morality, whose capability to exercise self-control may substantially influence their engagement in crime. To test this hypothesis we use data from the Peterborough Youth Study (PYS), a cross-sectional survey of 1957 adolescents aged 14—15 from the UK city of Peterborough. The findings support the main hypothesis: young people with a strong (law-relevant) morality do not engage in crime, regardless of their ability to exercise self-control. However, among those with a weaker (law-relevant) morality, their ability to exercise self-control is an important factor in their crime involvement.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1477370810372132 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Sage Publications
Host/Issue European Journal of Criminology;5
Volume 7
ISSN 1477-3708
Pages 395-410
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Criminology
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/10537 (link to this page)

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