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Desistance from Crime

Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

One of the key findings in longitudinal studies of criminal behavior is that antisocial behavior is fairly stable across the life course (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990; Huesmann, Eron, Lefkowitz, & Walder, 1984; Le Blanc & Fréchette, 1989). According to Loeber (1982), “Children who initially display high rates of antisocial behaviour are more likely to persist in this behaviour than children who initially show lower rates of antisocial behaviour”(p. 1433). However, it has also been argued that although most adult offenders were at one time juvenile delinquents, most juvenile delinquents do not grow up to be adult offenders (Gove, 1985; Robins, 1978; Sampson & Laub, 1993). Although this sounds paradoxical, the issue is a matter of perspective. Long and Vaillant (1984) write, “The transmission of disorganization and alienation that seems inevitable when a disadvantaged cohort is studied retrospectively appears to be the exception rather than the norm in a prospective study that locates the successes as well as the failures” (p. 344).

Keywords

  • Criminal Justice System
  • Social Bond
  • Cognitive Distortion
  • Informal Social Control
  • Internal Change

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Some argue that the term desistance should also be used to describe declines in the frequency or severity of criminal activity (Laub & Sampson, 2001; Le Blanc & Loeber, 1998).

  2. 2.

    Primarily, this research focuses on links between these habitual cognitions and sex offending (Abel, Becker, & Cunningham-Rathner, 1984; Marshall & Barbaree, 1990; Murphy, 1990; Segal & Stermac, 1990; Ward, Fon, Hudson, & McCormack, 1998; Ward, Hudson, Johnston, & Marshall, 1997; Ward, Hudson, & Marshall, 1995; Ward, Keenan, & Hudson, 2000). Cognitive distortions have also been said to promote aggressive behavior (Abel et al., 1989; Bumby, 1996; Murphy, 1990).

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Kazemian, L., Maruna, S. (2009). Desistance from Crime. In: Krohn, M., Lizotte, A., Hall, G. (eds) Handbook on Crime and Deviance. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0245-0_15

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