Skip to main content

Using an expanded measure of self-control to predict delinquency

Buy Article:

$53.17 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Self-control theory claims that the tendency to pursue short-term, immediate pleasure, called low self-control, is the only important intrapersonal correlate of crime and delinquency. Low self-control is considered a general tendency comprising several subsidiary traits. The question is whether the subsidiary traits traditionally considered to constitute the individual elements of low self-control – impulsivity, risk-seeking, shortsightedness, low frustration tolerance, self-centeredness, and a preference for physical activities – accurately reflect the essence of self-control theory. The present paper provides theoretical and empirical support for the incorporation of two additional characteristics – diligence and the tendency to neutralize one's guilt for wrongdoing – into the overall self-control construct. Empirical support is provided by the results of two studies in which diligence and neutralization significantly and substantially improve the ability of traditional low self-control to account for variance in offending. A third additional trait, deception, did not enhance the explanatory power of traditional low self-control.

Keywords: Self-control; delinquency; diligence; neutralization; personality and crime

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10683160500254953

Affiliations: Department of Behavioral Science, Fitchburg State College, 160 Pearl Street, Fitchburg, MA, 01420, USA

Publication date: 2006-10-01

  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more