Examining Desistance by Race: Are There Differences Between Whites and Non-Whites?

Valerie Wright, The Ohio State University

Despite an increased interest in the study of desistance from crime, most empirical studies have used only male samples. This research uses self-report data to determine if there are any differences in desistance from violence between males and females using a nationally representative sample. In addition, because little theoretical attention has been given to the subject, this analysis will also evaluate whether self-control, social control theory or social learning theory best explains desistance from violence. Furthermore, variables such as children and victimization are introduced to determine if they have an impact on desistance. The results largely support Hirschi's self-control theory. Factors such as marriage and employment stability, typically associate with desistance are not significantly related to desistance.

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Updated 05/20/2006