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Which Came First, The Bond Or Self-Control? A Test Of Hirschi's Revision of Low Self-Control

NCJ Number
Critical Issues in Justice and Politics Volume: 2 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2009 Pages: 71-86
Michael A. Cretacci
Date Published
June 2009
16 pages
This study examined Travis Hirschi's re-defined self-control theory.
Travis Hirschi, the author of social control theory and one of the authors of self-control, has re-defined self-control and now argues that the bond and self-control are the same. He also states that adding items to the revised measure increases its explanatory power. This study adds to the findings of the only other published test of the revision in three ways: First, it clarifies whether or not the revision lives up to Hirschi's hypothesis that low self-control is the most important variable in a given equation. Second, it also addresses whether Hirschi is correct in proposing that adding items to the revision will enhance its performance. Third, it seeks to determine if often-overlooked concepts, such as criminal opportunity and interaction effects, are important to the perspective. Logistic regression results show that not only is low self-control not the most important predictor of crime but it may not be important when examining property offending. In addition, adding items to the revised measure does not appear to enhance its explanatory power. Finally, neither criminal opportunity nor its interaction with self-control, appears to be significant predictors of deviance in this sample. (Published Abstract)


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