Do the Glueck and Glueck Data Better Support the Self-Control Versus the Social-Control Perspective?

Kelly H. Hardwick, University of Calgary
Augustine Brannigan, University of Calgary

CRIME IN THE MAKING (Sampson and Laub, 1993) pushed a A GENERAL THEORY OF CRIME (Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990) off the pedestal by arguing that social control was more imporant that self-control in explaining careers in crime and other dysfunctional behavior. Our re-analysis of the Glueck and Glueck data suggests that the dismissal of self-control theory is premature. We argue that individual characteristics must be examined in understanding the creation of social capital in quantitative modelling, and that the qualitative evidence in Sampson and Laub suggests that careers of misconduct were owed significantly to alcoholism and mental illness. In our view, social capital should be construed as an outcome of self-control which suggests that the causal ordering which underlies CRIME IN THE MAKING is misspecified.

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Updated 05/20/2006