Low Self-Control as a Source of Crime: A Meta-Study

43 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2012

See all articles by Christoph Engel

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2012

Abstract

Self-control theory is one of the best studied criminological paradigms. Since Gottfredson and Hirschi published their General Theory in 1990 the theory has been tested on more than a million subjects. This meta-study systematizes the evidence, reporting 717 results from 102 different publications that cover 966,364 original data points. The paper develops a methodology that makes it possible to standardize findings although the original papers have used widely varying statistical procedures, and have generated findings of very different precision. Overall, the theory is overwhelmingly supported, but the effect is relatively small, and is sensitive to adding a host of moderating variables.

Keywords: K42, D03, K14, C13

JEL Classification: meta-study, self-control, general theory of crime

Suggested Citation

Engel, Christoph, Low Self-Control as a Source of Crime: A Meta-Study (February 1, 2012). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2012/4. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2012381 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2012381

Christoph Engel (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

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D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
+049 228 914160 (Phone)
+049 228 9141655 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/engel.html

University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students ( email )

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PO Box 1738
Rotterdam
Netherlands

Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Osnabruck, D-49069
Germany

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