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How Well Do Criminologists Explain Crime? Statistical Modeling in Published Studies

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Abstract

Understanding of the phenomenon of crime lies at the heart of criminology. A century and a half of theory and research has accumulated, but there does not yet exist an evaluation of how much explanatory power (summarized as the amount of variance explained) there is in criminological research. Examination of empirical tests of criminological theory in Criminology between 1968 and 2005 yields three key findings. The overall level of variance explained is often very low with 80 or 90 percent unexplained. There has been no improvement over time. Individual-based models provide relatively weak explanatory power, but models that took a more crime-specific focus indicated some strength. Criminologists will need to pay much more attention to "what is not explained" in criminological modeling if they are to make significant advances in understanding crime.

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... Burglary, specifically, is a crime that thrives in socially disorganized and less cohesive communities (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). It is likely that disorganized neighborhoods tend to have higher burglary crime rates because of weaker social cohesion than affluent areas where strong social connectedness facilitates the ability of residents to be on the lookout for criminal behavior (Dunaway, Cullen, Burton, & Evans, 2000). ...
... (2) Y = 0 + 1 X 1 + 2 X 2 + 3 X 3 +…+ n X n + TA B L E 1 The core components of crime and community cohesion, and the variables used to represent them in the model -14, 15, 16-17, 18-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-44, 45-59, 60-64, 65-74 Family structure Lone parent, no dependent; Lone parent, one dependent child; Lone parent, two or more dependent children; Married couple, no children; Married couple, one dependent child; Married couple, two or more children Residence length Length of residence: Less than 2 years; Less than 5 years; More than 5 years; 10 years and above; Born in the UK model performance and reliability (Wang, 1996). There is no standard rule for filtering out variables based on the ...
... It is common practice to assess the appropriateness of a model using the coefficient of determination, although this is not an absolute indicator of goodness of fit (Reisinger, 1997) and a low effect size does not mean that the model is inefficient (Martin, 2014;Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). Although the analysis explained approximately 24% of the variation in burglary crime, that is good compared to other studies: Zhao, Lawton, and Longmire (2015), Karyda (2015), Hino, Uesugi, and Asami (2016), and Boateng (2016) have models explaining 21%, 10%, 14%, and 12%, respectively. ...
Article
Diversity within a population has been linked to levels of both social cohesion and crime. Neighborhood crimes are the result of a complex set of factors, one of which is weak community cohesion. This article seeks to explore the impacts of diversity on burglary crime in a range of neighborhoods, using Leeds, UK as a case study. We propose a new approach to quantifying the correlates of burglary in urban areas through the use of diversity metrics. This approach is useful in unveiling the relationship between burglary and diversity in urban communities. Specifically, we employ stepwise multiple regression models to quantify the relationships between a number of neighborhood diversity variables and burglary crime rates. The results of the analyses show that the variables that represent diversity were more significant when regressed against burglary crime rates than standard socio‐demographic data traditionally used in crime studies, which do not generally use diversity variables. The findings of this study highlight the importance of neighborhood cohesion in the crime system, and the key place for diversity statistics in quantifying the relationships between neighborhood diversities and burglary. The study highlights the importance of policy planning aimed at encouraging community building in promoting neighborhood safety.
... Those operating within a scientific framework have labored extensively for over a century to produce knowledge about crime. Despite these efforts, serious criticisms exist surrounding the current stock of scientific knowledge within the field, with perhaps the most significant criticism being that criminological theories are weak at explaining crime (see, e.g., Weisburd and Piquero 2008). This criticism is not new. ...
... The 1970s and 1980s saw a period in which integrated theories attempted to advance scientific knowledge, but these theories were harshly rebuked for their logical inadequacies. In the 1990s a new wave of theories-such as self-control theory , general strain theory (Agnew 1992), and control balance theory -created a new sense of optimism for criminological theory. 1 This optimism, however, was short-lived and by the 2000s concerns over theoretical progress within criminological theory were again renewed (see, e.g., Bursik 2009;Cullen 2011;Laub , 2006Weisburd and Piquero 2008;. At present, there is a general sense of malaise surrounding criminological theory, and an open secret within the field is that few are genuinely satisfied with the current stock of scientific criminological theories. ...
... 4 Turner (2010), for example, contends that the micro, meso, and macro-levels of analysis are ontologically real layers of social reality, with each possessing their own unique dynamics. 5 Many criticisms have been lodged about the low explained variance (e.g., R 2 ) of theoretical knowledge claims within criminology (see, e.g., Weisburd and Piquero 2008). As Weisburd and Piquero (2008) note, however, statistical measures of model fit are contingent upon proper model specification. ...
Book
The science of criminology is at a crossroads. Despite accumulating a dizzying array of facts about crime, the field has yet to identify a body of theories that allows for the adequate prediction, explanation, and control of phenomena of central interest to criminologists. Mechanistic Criminology locates this problem within the field’s failure to conform to the expectations of scientific fields and reliance on antiquated methods of theory construction. The authors contend that this failure has resulted in an inability of criminologists to engage in theory falsification and competition—two central activities of science—that produce the forms of reliable knowledge that are unique to scientific fields. Mechanistic Criminology advocates for the adoption of a mechanistic mode of theorizing to allow criminologists to engage in theory falsification and competition and ignite rapid scientific discovery in the field. The proposed method is the same one employed within the biological sciences, which is responsible for their rapid scientific progress in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Should criminologists adopt this mechanistic approach, criminology could experience the same scientific revolution that is occurring in the biological sciences, and criminologists would generate the knowledge necessary for the prediction, explanation, and control of crime.
... Etiological theories of crime far outnumber theories of the law; within this domain alone rest such notable families of theory as strain and anomie, social control, social disorganization, social learning, development and life course, rational choice and deterrence, and labeling, among many others. Indeed, scholars routinely identify as many as fifteen distinct families of etiological theory (Akers et al. 2017;Bernard, Snipes, and Gerould 2016;Weisburd and Piquero 2008). It is precisely for this reason that criminology as a discipline is accused of suffering from an abundance of theoretical explanations of behavior (Bernard and Snipes 1996;Bernard et al. 2016;Elliott 1985;Liska, Krohn, and Messner 1989;Muftić 2009;Weisburd and Piquero 2008). ...
... Indeed, scholars routinely identify as many as fifteen distinct families of etiological theory (Akers et al. 2017;Bernard, Snipes, and Gerould 2016;Weisburd and Piquero 2008). It is precisely for this reason that criminology as a discipline is accused of suffering from an abundance of theoretical explanations of behavior (Bernard and Snipes 1996;Bernard et al. 2016;Elliott 1985;Liska, Krohn, and Messner 1989;Muftić 2009;Weisburd and Piquero 2008). ...
... Integrated explanations have also garnered scholarly attention in that they inspire empirical testing efforts. For instance, Weisburd and Piquero (2008) analyzed 169 published tests of sixteen families of theory between 1968 and 2005. ...
Thesis
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More than a decade has passed since Agnew (2005) introduced his General Theory of Crime and Delinquency (GTCD). Despite this interval, GTCD remains a relatively untested theory. Drawing on previous testing efforts, the current research provides a systematic assessment of Agnew's theoretical propositions. It also provides only the second empirical examination of Cochran's (2015) extension of GTCD, which incorporates religion as a sixth distinct life domain. Nested negative binomial regression modeling and Poisson regression modeling are used to assess the effects of life domains on several diverse forms of self-reported criminal behavior at two distinct stages of development: adolescence and adulthood. Data are drawn from two waves of the second generation of the Kaplan Longitudinal and Multigenerational Study. Consistent with prior empirical tests, results provide mixed support for theoretical propositions, highlighting the complexity of Agnew’s initial theory. Specifically, general support is provided for the direct effects of both theories’ variables, indicating they are important to the explanation of crime. Also, in line with Cochran's findings, initial observed effects of religious variables on criminal behavior are reduced to non-significance when all other predictors are introduced in most regression models, hinting that the incorporation of such variables may be incongruous with Agnew's chosen method of theoretical integration. However, religious variables emerge as significant predictors of general crime during adulthood, suggesting that the relationship between these variables and crime is more complex than anticipated. Additionally, strong support is found for the proposition that the effects of life domains are primarily contemporaneous. Results offer weaker support, however, for the assertion that life domain effects are largely mediated by constraints against crime and motivations towards it. Policy implications for the creation of theoretically-informed crime prevention and intervention strategies tailored to specific developmental stage are discussed.
... As criminological research has expanded in conjunction with the ongoing development of theory, different predictors and situational contexts have been realized as being of considerable importance into the initiation, maintenance, and desistance from crime. While significant advances in this work have considerably aided the explanation of deviance (see Piquero, Farrington, and Blumstein 2003;Weisburd and Piquero 2008 for an overview), the constant search for new ways of thinking about how various factors may relate to crime, recidivism, incarceration, and reincarceration serves as an ongoing reminder that criminologists have considerable difficulty explaining human behavior. ...
... As a response to relatively low explained variance statistics (see Weisburd and Piquero 2008), criminologists have bolstered the field's sociological underpinnings with concepts from other fields of science. Found throughout criminological theories (e.g., Burgess and Akers 1966), perhaps the most common field of academia from which criminologists borrow is psychology. ...
Article
Finding and securing employment is a huge challenge for those who have been released from prison. In this paper, we argue that carbon capture technology carries the unique potential to positively impact employment opportunities for those who are undergoing the reentry process. Notably, these careers exist nearly entirely in industries which already employ ex-felons. If carbon capture technology were implemented throughout the United States, our estimates suggest that ex-felons would be eligible for nearly 3.6 million careers. Many of these jobs would be created in industries which directly or indirectly support natural resource extraction, ethanol production, electricity generation, and iron, steel, and cement production. In addition to benefiting the economy, these careers would provide returning individuals with financial security and supportive, prosocial peer relationships. Accordingly, carbon capture carries the unique ability to promote environmental justice while simultaneously providing relief to a tremendously overburdened criminal justice system.
... Frequently, reservations about empirical generalizations are less about the nature of accumulated results, and more about the fact that the observational nature of data sets in criminology makes it challenging to statistically identify the point estimate for causal effects. This presents obstacles to credible inference that must contextualize our empirical generalizations and their implications for theory (e.g., Manski 2008;Rubin 2008;Weisburd and Piquero 2008). ...
... Importantly, the method we employed provides useful comparators because we could benchmark the effect necessary to do away with a focal relationship to commonly-used explanatory factors that have fairly intuitive relationships to the core variables involved. Although criminologists have encountered difficulties in explaining crime and other deviant behaviors, as is evidenced by the relatively low explanatory power of predictive models (Weisburd and Piquero 2008), there are nevertheless a host of extensively studied and robust risk factors that can act as informative benchmarks when assessing relationships among criminological constructs (e.g., age, gender, self-control, prior delinquency). Substantively, the results point to a consistent peer effect of at least modest size that would be rendered spurious only with the introduction of unreasonably large unobserved factors lurking above and beyond well-known confounders such as low self-control, weakened social bonds and prior delinquency. ...
Article
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Objective Criminologists have long questioned how fragile our statistical inferences are to unobserved bias when testing criminological theories. This study demonstrates that sensitivity analyses offer a statistical approach to help assess such concerns with two empirical examples—delinquent peer influence and school commitment. Methods Data from the Gang Resistance Education and Training are used with models that: (1) account for theoretically-relevant controls; (2) incorporate lagged dependent variables and; (3) account for fixed-effects. We use generalized sensitivity analysis (Harada in ISA: Stata module to perform Imbens’ (2003) sensitivity analysis, 2012; Imbens in Am Econ Rev 93(2):126–132, 2003) to estimate the size of unobserved heterogeneity necessary to render delinquent peer influence and school commitment statistically non-significant and substantively weak and compare these estimates to covariates in order to gauge the likely existence of such bias. ResultsUnobserved bias would need to be unreasonably large to render the peer effect statistically non-significant for violence and substance use, though less so to reduce it to a weak effect. The observed effect of school commitment on delinquency is much more fragile to unobserved heterogeneity. Conclusion Questions over the sensitivity of inferences plague criminology. This paper demonstrates the utility of sensitivity analysis for criminological theory testing in determining the robustness of estimated effects.
... This monumental historical turn towards punitiveness, together with the declining influence of criminology on policymaking, call for a macro-introspective account of the state of criminology. This call for a broader perspective is not a new idea: for decades, prominent voices within criminology have invited more scholarly introspective accounts (see, inter alia, Braithwaite, 2000;Cullen, 2011;Gilsinan, 1991;Hagan, 2010;Nelken, 1994;Pifferi, 2016;Savelsberg et al., 2004;Savelsberg & Sampson, 2002;Valverde, 2017;Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). Yet to date, criminological research, particularly that produced in the United States, has been overwhelmingly empiricist, favouring quantitative methods (Bosworth & Hoyle, 2011, p. 8), and has largely forgone macro-introspective examination. ...
... We posit that the Presidential Addresses constitute a valuable resource for deep reflection on the state of the field with regard to knowledge production in an era of punitive populism and the neoliberal order. The presidents of the ASC and the ESC are among the most esteemed and prominent scholars in the field, and the keynote lecture at each ASC or ESC annual meeting is the Presidential Address, at which these scholars offer their insights into the state of the discipline (Fagan, 1993;Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). Thepresidents' perspective is undoubtedly shaped by their training-most of them were trained as sociologists-and their research background. ...
Article
Full-text available
The field of criminology has experienced rapid growth in the last three decades. During this time the field has become institutionally independent, but at the same time, the impact of criminological research on policy has been declining in the face of a populist punitive turn. These developments call for a reflexive introspective account of the state of the discipline. Using qualitative methods, we analyse the Presidential Addresses given at the annual meetings of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) over 30 years. This analysis yields factors that pertain to normative questions, research orientations, and policy that speak to the state of the field today. We assess changes in the relative weights of these factors over time, corresponding to changes and historical developments in world affairs. In addition, we compare the ASC addresses to a limited number of recently published addresses given at the annual meetings of the European Society of Criminology. Our results critically expose trends and tensions in criminology, and point to a rise in the importance attributed to “big picture” analysis, with increasing attention to normative considerations and social context.
... In fact, some forms of impulsivity may be 'heroic,' such as quickly saving a person's life (see Rand and Epstein, 2014). A more nuanced conceptualization of impulsivity may help improve the explanatory power of self-control theory (Weisburd and Piquero, 2008). ...
... This view of self-control is similar to Murray's earlier conception, viewing individuals with low self-control as quick acting without reflection (Murray, 1938). Self-control theory has received widespread empirical support (see, for example, Pratt and Cullen, 2000) but is limited in how well it explains antisocial behavior (Weisburd and Piquero, 2008). Although Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) concept of self-control included six distinctive characteristics, impulsivity, in particular, is an important component (Forrest et al., 2019). ...
Article
Traditionally, criminological research on impulsivity and crime assumes impulsivity is a uniform construct that is positively related to deviant behavior. However, psychological research on impulsivity indicates that the construct may have multiple forms, which vary in their relationship to antisocial behavior. One possibility that few studies have examined is whether some forms of impulsivity are unrelated, or negatively related, to antisocial behavior. This study uses Dickman’s (1990) functional and dysfunctional impulsivity scales and finds that dysfunctional impulsivity is a better predictor of crime than functional impulsivity, but does not differ for substance use or school deviance. These results highlight ways that impulsivity measures can be refined in the future.
... With regard to model statistics, the likelihood ratios indicate that each Poisson regression is significant as a whole. The pseudo-R 2 s found in Poisson regressions are not equivalent to the R 2 s found in OLS regressions, and cannot be interpreted in the same way (i.e., as a percentage of overall explained variation; Coxe et al. 2009;Weisburd and Piquero 2008). However, pseudo-R 2 s can be used to compare models that explain the same outcome and employ the same sample (D'unger et al. 1998), as larger values are still indicative of better fit. ...
... However, not being able to explain a large part of the variance is in line with the observation that it is a difficult challenge for authorities to identify firms, based on observable characteristics, that are likely to be non-compliant. This is also consistent with the broader observation that empirical models in criminology tend to have limited explanatory power (for a discussion, see Weisburd and Piquero 2008). ...
Article
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OBJECTIVE: Industry actors (organizations, associations) can influence the way in which firms comply with regulations. This study examines how this influence process is affected by government intervention. METHODS: Using official, anonymized data from the entire industry of financial intermediation in the Netherlands (N = 8655 firms), we examine how firms’ affiliations with industry actors relate to (1) voluntary actions aligned with improving regulatory compliance (e.g., requesting audits, attending workshops), and (2) law violations. Industry actors are distinguished between trade associations and the industry’s self-regulatory organization (SRO), which is subject to more government intervention. The analysis employs Poisson regressions to explain count variables, and bootstrapping to assess indirect associations. A series of robustness tests focus on relevant sub-samples, employ exact matching to address possible self-selection, and incorporate lagged dependent variables. RESULTS: The association between affiliations with industry actors and law violations is negative and significant. This association is more indirect for trade associations than for the SRO (i.e., it is more strongly mediated by the voluntary actions firms take and which help to improve compliance). CONCLUSIONS: These findings go in line with the theory that government intervention makes industry-self regulation more mandated and less voluntary. Under less government intervention, industry actors may promote more voluntary efforts to comply.
... in criminology, the effects of different risk factors for criminal and criminal-analogous outcomes are often much smaller than in other literatures (Weisburd and Piquero 2008). Additionally, our focus is primarily on the rank-order and the relative magnitudes of the estimates (Murray et al. 2018). ...
Chapter
Terrorism research has become a field of increasing interest and importance over the last few decades. Since the events of 9/11, the number of publications in the field has increased exponentially. Despite the explosion in terrorism research, reviews of the literature have consistently bemoaned the dearth of empirical evidence (Silke 2001, 2007, 2009; Sageman 2014). Among the most prominent explanations given for the findings that as little as 3–5% of research is based on any form of empiricism, is the continued absence of definitional clarity and consensus. Scholars also refer to the lack of original data, and a tendency for terrorism research to reuse the same data sets many times over, as one of the primary limitations of the literature (Schuurman and Eijkman 2013). Such criticisms were summarized in Sageman’s (2014) infamous article on the ‘stagnation of terrorism research’.
... These authors have performed exploratory factor analysis or confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to assess their measures of social concern, but using construct validity assessments with secondary data sets may present a major threat to model specification because the items used in the source studies were developed to capture different concepts. Employing secondary data can also limit the contributions of earlier research because they may not allow researchers to incorporate valid and reliable measures, and they may lower the explanatory power of the theoretical constructs (Weisburd and Piquero 2008). There are no validated measures intended to capture the four dimensions of social concern, which may partly explain why scholars tend to employ secondary data to test the theory. ...
Article
Social concern theory is an integrative theory that considers human nature in multiple dimensions. This study tested an aspect of social concern theory using self-reported data on cyberbullying. We collected original data from a sample of Iranian high school students and examined direct, indirect, mediating, and conditioning effects of social concern on the perpetration of cyberbullying. It was shown that the inclination to social concern has direct, indirect, mediating, and conditioning effects on cyberbullying perpetration. Furthermore, we found significant relationships between the four elements of social concern and moral intuitions contributing to sympathy and empathy, and we found that the desire for close ties to others contributes to the inclination to conform. These results provided strong support for social concern theory.
... Finally, the concept of dramaturgical self-efficacy also challenges us to increase the power of our explanatory models and strengthen research on crime and criminality by borrowing, blending, and further developing concepts from other fields of research (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). This article dealt with concepts developed within sociological action theory and interaction theory (Goffman, 1956;Habermas, 1984Habermas, , 1987 as well as within social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997(Bandura, , 2001, concepts that have been tested on crime through the inspection of empirical cases (Wright & Bouffard, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Perceived self-efficacy is often held to be the most focal mechanism of human agency. It has shown strong potential to explain action in multiple areas highly relevant to understanding crime, at least when the concept is formulated in close connection with the conditions that characterize the criminal acts it is supposed to explain. This article introduces the concept in the context of white-collar crime. To advance our understanding of how opportunities for such crime work, self-efficacy is defined with regard to one’s ability to control others’ impression of financially relevant information, or what is called dramaturgical self-efficacy . The presentation of this concept and its various elements is illustrated with contemporary empirical cases of white-collar crime and is preceded by a discussion of how opportunity structures and perceived self-efficacy have been understood in previous research relevant to the field. The article also discusses how the concept can be further developed with regard to the relationship between motivation and opportunity for white-collar crime.
... in criminology, the effects of different risk factors for criminal and criminal-analogous outcomes are often much smaller than in other literatures (Weisburd and Piquero 2008). Additionally, our focus is primarily on the rank-order and the relative magnitudes of the estimates (Murray et al. 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives This systematic review sought to collate and synthesize the risk and protective factors for different outcomes of radicalization. We aimed to firstly quantify the effects of all factors for which rigorous empirical data exists, and secondly, to differentiate between factors related to radical attitudes, intention, and behaviors. The goal was to develop a rank-order of factors based on their pooled estimates in order to gain a better understanding of which factors may be most important, and the differential effects on the different outcomes. Methods Random effects meta-analysis pooled primarily bivariate effect sizes to calculate pooled estimates for each factor. Meta-regression was used to examine the effects of a range of study-level characteristics, including the effects of using partial effects sizes as supplementary effect sizes where bivariate estimates were unavailable. Subgroup analysis was used to further analyze the extent to which the combining of effect sizes from different sources contributed to heterogeneity and estimate inflation. Leave-one-out sensitivity analysis was used to identify cases where a single study was a significant source of heterogeneity. Results Extensive searches in English, German and Dutch resulted in the screening of more than 10,000 items, and a final inclusion of 57 publications published between 2007 and 2018 from which 62 individual level factors were identified across three radicalization outcomes: attitudes, intentions, and actions. Effect sizes ranged from z − 0.621 to 0.572. The smallest estimates were found for sociodemographic factors, while the largest effect sizes were found for traditional criminogenic and criminotrophic factors such as low self-control, thrill-seeking, and attitudinal factors, with radical attitudes having the largest effect on radical intentions and behaviors. Conclusions The most commonly researched factors, sociodemographic factors, have exceptionally small effects, even when effect sizes are derived from bivariate relationships. The finding regarding the effects of radical attitudes on intentions and actions provide empirical support for existing theoretical frameworks. The consistency among the clustering of familiar criminogenic factors within the rank-order could have implications for the development of a more evidence based approach to risk assessment and counter violent extremism policies.
... It is not common that whole theories can be tested using empirical data that have been specifically designed and collected for that primary purpose (Bruinsma 2016;Cullen et al. 2019;Weisburd and Piquero 2008), yet this is what PADS+ data represent. Since SAT is a "general, dynamic and mechanismbased theory of crime and its causes" (Wikström 2019b), PADS+ is exceptional as a longitudinal study of adolescent crime in its ability to offer a systematic test of such a complex perspective (Cullen et al. 2019). ...
Preprint
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"Space-Time Budget methodology: facilitating social ecology of crime" is an entry in the "Encyclopaedia of research methods and statistical techniques in Criminology and Criminal Justice" (Editors: J. C. Barnes; D. R. Forde). ABSTRACT: The Space-Time Budget (STB) methodology captures the exposure of particular individuals to particular environments at a particular location and time (convergence). The STB described here was introduced to Criminology by the Peterborough Youth Study (PYS) and further developed and applied by the Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+). PADS+ is a large-scale longitudinal research project that is specifically designed to investigate and test hypotheses about the role of the environment and its interaction with people’s characteristics and experiences in crime causation. Situational Action Theory (SAT) generates such theoretically integrative hypotheses, making it a truly ecological theory of crime. PADS+ was the first criminological study to use an STB methodology to integrate measures capturing individual characteristics (e.g., from questionnaires) with measures capturing features of environments (e.g., from a small-area community survey or official statistics). The PADS+ Space-Time Budget method uniquely generates data on the behavioural outcome of the convergence of kinds of people in kinds of settings. Although it gathers data that can be applied to other purposes, the position of the STB method as a cornerstone of the study of person-environment interaction in crime causation means that it significantly advances a true Social Ecology of Crime. KEY WORDS: Space-Time Budget (STB); Social Ecology; Individual-Environment Interaction; Situational Action Theory; Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+); Exposure; Convergence; Environmental Effects; Situational Effects.
... Rather, theories are retrofitted and brought back for more testing (Pratt et al., 2006). These theories often lack the conceptual breadth necessary to explain complex behavior such as deviance or offending (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). SEM can bolster existing theories, or support more comprehensive ones, by integrating distinct theories into one cohesive causal structure. ...
Preprint
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The current chapter presents a brief and non-technical overview of SEM in two major parts. The first part elaborates on the conceptual underpinnings of measurement and structural models. The second part reviews the specific uses and goals of SEM in social science research.
... We began our chapter with Sutherland and his effort to provide a general explanation of crime. We should add that criminologists keep question themselves on general theories on crime and their explanatory power (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). However, since 1970s, other criminologists shifted their interests from the reason why people commit crimes to the way they commit them. ...
... In the 1980s, criminologists began to debate whether existing theories of crime were adequate while also noting that scholars were creating new theories rapidly (Bernard and Snipes 1996;Messner et al. 1989;Weisburd and Piquero 2008). Although many lauded the strengths of existing theories, they argued that the overall body of knowledge could be improved by either ridding the field of "falsified" theories or combining propositions from multiple theories to create more comprehensive explanations. ...
Chapter
Single cases of corporate malfeasance often cause more financial and physical damage than an entire year’s worth of “conventional” crimes, yet systematic data collection on these behaviors is wanting. A cohesive body of knowledge is imperative to stimulate theory and policy making that will allow for the prevention of harm caused by powerful corporations. This chapter reviews what is known about corporate malfeasance from a criminological perspective. Specifically, we describe current issues in defining corporate behaviors as crime, explore four types of harm and the scope of harm caused by corporate crime, provide theoretical explanations for crime, and appraise current strategies used to prevent and intervene in cases of corporate malfeasance. We conclude with suggestions for improving research endeavors in this field and the importance of such research for policymaking efforts.
... This kind of theoretical fragmentation will be familiar to criminologists. In an ambitious paper published in Crime and Justice, Weisburd and Piquero (2008) set out to test the respective 'explanatory power' of theories of crime located at different levels of analysis. They conclude that all theories leave the bulk of the variance unexplained and advise that each theoretical framework should look to "what is not explained" (p.453), if scientific progress is to continue. ...
Technical Report
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Led by UCL, the purpose of this deliverable is to set out an analytical framework, which will 1) guide and motivate the project's data collection activities; and 2) provide the 'bare frame' around which to build LAEE scripts by identifying key categories of indicators associated with LAEEs, which are theorised to signposts opportunities for the prevention, disruption or mitigation of these events. The theoretical model described herein, based on prior work by the first author (Bouhana, UCL) is intended for use as a risk analysis framework (i.e. a model which sets out the relationships between categories of risk factors and indicators at different analytical levels).
... (5.) Weisburd and Piquero (2008) are quick to point out that this statistic was generated from only two articles that met their definition of testing rational choice theory. ...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on situational crime prevention, a method for reducing opportunities for crime by manipulating the immediate environment. It begins by charting the origins and development of situational crime prevention. It then describes how rational choice was later added as the model of offender decision making to underpin situational crime prevention. Three questions are then considered: Is rational choice the only possible theoretical underpinning for situational crime prevention? Is rational choice a satisfactory account of offender decision making? Does rational choice need to be supplemented for the purposes of crime prevention research and practice, and if so, with what?
... An empirical model of cannabis production on national forests conforms to rational choice theory (Becker, 1968;Clarke, 1986, 1987;Akers, 1990). Fundamentally, growers decide where to establish operations based on productivity factors that are composites of characteristics of the landscape (e.g., Hirschi, 1986;Weisburd and Piquero, 2008) and the legal risks inherent in grow site establishment. The general model of a grow decision is described as (Becker, 1968): ...
Article
Ten US states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis as of November 2018, and have adopted other policies regarding production, consumption, and the penalties associated with it. These policy changes may have affected illegal growing operations on national forests of the United States. Using data on the number of cannabis grow sites reported on 111 national forests between 2004 and 2016 together with information about state cannabis laws and when they were implemented, we find that recreational cannabis legalization is associated with decreased reports of illegal grow operations on national forests. Laws mandating minimum sentences for illegal cannabis possession or sales are associated with fewer reported grows, as is strict regulation of cannabinoid products. Taxes on sales have positive impacts on illegal growing, while law enforcement presence has a negative effect. Counterfactual simulations for 2016 quantify the magnitudes of these policy effects.
... It has long been recognized that the "theoretical landscape" is cluttered (Bernard, 1990), with theories seeking to advance understanding of behavior and exposure to victimization (ETV) proliferating, while older theories remain in the mix. Further, existing theories do not explain much of the variation in offending and victimization in the population (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). This suggests a real need for additional theoretical approaches and refinement of theories that can better predict outcomes of interest to criminologists and describe connections between individuals and their social contexts. ...
Article
We test two major hypotheses in this article: (a) macrolevels of school disorganization and individual levels of low self-control will be directly, and positively, linked to victimization and (bi) low self-control will have the largest impact on exposure to victimization (ETV) when it interacts with negative environments consistent with a social enhancement perspective, or (bii) low self-control will have a weaker impact on ETV when it interacts with negative environments consistent with saturation or social push models. The data for the current study were collected as part of the second International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISRD-II). A total of 49,685 individuals from 30 countries are nested within 1,427 schools. We use multilevel generalized linear regression models with violent victimization (robbery and assault) regressed on demographic, family, school, and neighborhood variables. Multiplicative interaction terms are included in separate models to examine key moderation effects consistent with expectations drawn from the victimization literature. Analyses reveal that low self-control and perceptions of school disorganization are both associated with an increase in the odds of experiencing victimization. Interactions between low self-control and school disorganization are also found to be consistent with saturation/social push models. Our regulation approach offers a foundation for theorizing about ETV and provides a testable model for future research. However, elements of the regulation model are in need of further refinement and testing before the perspective can be moved toward a broader theory of victimization.
... Because many initiatives in public policy are the result of catastrophic events (major organized crime frauds, human trafficking deaths, terrorist attacks), public officials often rush to judgment, based on a single event. A momentary step back to ask the question "how do we know these funds and resources are being well spent?," can prevent waste, as well as the creation of unanticipated harms (e.g., racial or ethnic profiling, mass incarceration, and easy adjustments by criminal groups to the criminal justice response) (see Beare, 1997;Drake, Aos, & Miller, 2009;Leeuw, 2005;Piquero & Brame, 2008;Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). ...
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Dramatic moves have occurred in countering transnational crime since the turn of the twenty-first century. Binding international agreements, such as the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the Convention against Corruption, are examples of nearly universally adopted principles and mandates that were difficult to foresee a generation ago. What is less clear is the extent to which these moves indicate true progress, versus actions and efforts that will ultimately be ineffective. This paper assesses significant changes over the last 20 years in responding to transnational organized crime, corruption and global injustice, and points to several efforts to evaluate their effectiveness. Specific content areas are identified in which ongoing evaluation is needed at the intersection between the urge to take action and the patience to evaluate.
... For example, Elliott et al. (1985), a proponent of integration, argued the "oppositional tradition," in which theories are pitted against each other, has failed. As a result, the level of explained variance in most theories is "embarrassing low" (Elliott et al., 1985, p. 125), with some leading theories (e.g., self-control) explaining less than 30%, on average, of the observed variance in patterns of crime and deviance (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). Additionally, Akers (1989) argued that if integration is not pursued we miss important commonalities among seemingly incompatible theories. ...
... Rather, theories are retrofitted and brought back for more testing (Pratt et al., 2006). These theories often lack the conceptual breadth necessary to explain complex behavior such as deviance or offending (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). SEM can bolster existing theories, or support more comprehensive ones, by integrating distinct theories into one cohesive causal structure. ...
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The current chapter presents a brief and non-technical overview of SEM in two major parts. The first part elaborates on the conceptual underpinnings of measurement and structural models. The second part reviews the specific uses and goals of SEM in social science research. For criminologists, thoughtfully applied SEM can be one way to combine creativity and analytical rigor, a pairing essential for unraveling the complexities of human behavior.
... The motivation, the risks and opportunity structures vary according to the crime type and its context. However, regression models explain a greater share of variance when it is run on a specific crime type (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). ...
... For example, criminological theories such as strain theory, control theory and social learning theory are often employed to understand the predicates of political violence (Pauwels & Heylen, 2020). However, the reliance on a single explanatory variable has resulted in theories that explain only a small percentage of the variance in criminal behaviour (Elliott, Ageton, & Canter, 1979; see also Weisburd & Piquero, 2008) and political violence (see Opp, 2009 for a similar discussion on political protest; see also Wikström & Bouhana, 2017 for a discussion on violent extremism). Thus, since the 1990 s scholars have sought to integrate several theoretical perspectives to better understand the prevalence and drivers of (political) violence. ...
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... Young (2011) confronts a wide swath of criminological investigation, highlighting the apparent down-trend of explained variance in intricate quantitative models published in leading journals. Weisburd and Piquero's (2008) examination of scholarship in criminology indicated that statistical models not only were overspecified, they evidenced a decreasing trend in statistical relevance; soberly they ask the question whether this escalating incapacity is the result of the failure of theory, of method and measurement, or of some larger phenomenon. Young's reply is as resounding as McAuliffe's "Nuts!" ...
... Although criminology research has expanded in the last half century, explanatory power has remained stagnant, with theories unable to explain 80%-90% of variation in offending behavior (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). This pattern is especially true with individual-level theories, and deterrence theory is no exception. ...
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Research on the role of risk perception as a mechanism linking personality traits and behavioral outcomes is limited. The current study assessed a developmental model of the influence of psychopathic traits (PPTs) on the between- and within-individual variation in perceptions of risk and aggressive offending. Multivariate latent growth curve models were used to estimate the role of risk perceptions in the association between PPTs and aggressive offending in a sample of 1,354 adjudicated youths. The results indicated that PPTs influenced between-individual differences in perceptions of risk (β = −.312) and aggressive offending (β = .256), although the effects on within-individual differences suggested some attenuation over time. Additionally, higher PPT scores exhibited an indirect influence on increased aggressive offending through reduced perceptions of risk (β = .049). Implications from this line of research support calls for a developmentally informed juvenile justice system that considers latent personality traits and their long-term effects. Broader implications support individualized rehabilitative programming and tailored responses to offending over the blanket deterrence approach that dominates the current landscape of the American criminal justice system.
... P values lower than 5% are presented in bold. consistent with explanatory power results published in criminology outlets (Weisburd and Piquero, 2008). More specifically, our regression models found the most disposable and enjoyable species were significantly more likely to be traded while controlling for all other potential explanations and the phylogenetic relationships of the birds (Table 2, Fig. 3). ...
... Overall, these results illustrate varying degrees of dispersion in the use of force mindset of officers. Next, we turn to two multivariate analyses beginning with an assessment of the highest level of force, where we employ an ordered logit regression model using SPSS version 26.0 with results presented in Table 4. 9 As shown, the overall model is statistically significant as evidenced by the chi-square statistic with 15.2 percent of the variance explained, although caution is required as ordered logit only generates a pseudo R-squared statistic (Weisburd et al., 2015;Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). ...
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Police use of force has been the focus of a number of external assessments of the occupation for over 50 years. Recent concerns have, once again, prompted calls for additional research on the correlates of this behavior, especially as it relates to officer use of force mindset. Relying on a framework articulated as part of a use of force symposium of academics and practitioners, the current study utilizes survey and behavioral data from officers in six police agencies to examine dimensions of use of force mindset among officers, and the degree to which attitudinal mindset influences use of force behavior. The implications for police scholarship and practice are discussed.
... P values lower than 5% are presented in bold. (Weisburd and Piquero, 2008). More specifically, our regression models found the most disposable and enjoyable species were significantly more likely to be traded while controlling for all other potential explanations and the phylogenetic relationships of the birds (Table 2, Fig. 3). ...
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High global and domestic demand for parrots (Psittaciformes) as pets, and consequent removal from the wild for the illicit trade have significantly contributed to their severe decline worldwide. While the trade is vast, not every parrot species is at equal risk of being traded, and there is controversy concerning the role of demand and the opportunity-based factors driving the illicit wildlife trade. The criminological model CRAAVED was used to analyze the factors associated with traded parrots in Indonesia, the country shown to have the highest priority for parrot conservation. We quantified the relative importance of CRAAVED components that drive trade risk by using advanced multivariate, phylogenetically controlled models. Three factors were significantly predictive of trade variation, whether the species was disposable (i.e. most legally exported species), enjoyable (i.e. most attractive), and accessible by people, suggesting that demand-and opportunity-based factors together can partially explain the illegal parrot trade in Indonesia. Our analysis has important implications for parrot conservation and the broader illegal pet trade, and is of considerable value for developing strategies at national and international levels for helping to control wildlife trade.
... Overall, the addition of further variables in each block causes a slow but steady increase in (Continued) explanatory value. The explanatory value of the overall model is somewhat weak, with an R2 explanatory value of about 15% averaged across imputations (Weisburd & Piquero, 2008). ...
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Radical violent extremism is a growing concern for the Nordic countries. In this interest, we examine how traditional criminologi-cal theories can help to explain the difference between violent and non-violent radical extremist individuals. We analyse the Profiles of Individuals Radicalized in the United States (PIRUS) dataset, with information on 2148 radical criminals in the United States, using a logistic regression, wherein violence was the dependent variable. The independent variables corresponded to aspects of social bonds and social learning. Results indicate that social bond theory has little predictive value for violence among radical criminals. Social learning perspectives were somewhat more predictive, with radical peers having a significant positive effect on the likelihood of radical violence. Socioeconomic status, ideology and criminal history had significant positive effects as well. We conclude by exploring theoretical explanations, further research implications and discuss a Nordic version of a database. ARTICLE HISTORY
... However, because of the limited availability of related research, it is difficult to thoroughly explain why these differences in simulation results between related models occurred. Some potential explanations for why there has been no significant improvement in R 2 and RMSE values as new versions of the model have been created are: (1) agroecosystem models may have started to be used to answer more difficult questions regarding agricultural biogeochemical cycles and sustainable development that are less amenable to explanation; (2) an increasing number of model users who are not well-trained in agroecosystem modelling may result in poor application of the model because of not adequately understanding the model's theories, structures, data requirements, implementation, and limitations (Weisburd and Piquero, 2008); (3) the improvements made in new versions of a model also increased model complexity and possibly output sensitivity to inputs and model parameters; and (4) there may have been a shift in publication bias that acted directly on R 2 and RMSE values. For example, more studies that report low R 2 and high RMSE values may have been published due to the growing recognition of the importance of publishing "negative results" (Low-Décarie et al., 2014). ...
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Der Beitrag unterscheidet drei Arten von Evidenz: erstens eine lebensweltliche, die v.a. in Routinen und impliziten Gewissheiten besteht. Sie ist die zentrale Basis gegenwärtiger Präventionsprojekte. Zweitens eine „evidenzbasierte“ Evidenz, die strikte Forderungen nach kontextunabhängigen, statistisch begründeten Wirksamkeitsnachweisen verfolgt. Drittens eine kontextspezifische Form der Evidenz, die durch fachliches, wissenschaftlich informiertes Handeln in der Interaktion mit AdressatInnen realisiert wird. Lebensweltliche Evidenz steht in der Gefahr, Fallstricke und Komplexitäten präventiven Arbeitens zu unterschätzen. Dies kann durch „evidenzbasierte“ Ansätze korrigiert werden. Sie tendieren jedoch dazu, Eigensinnigkeiten sowohl der Kriminalpolitik wie auch der fachlichen Praxis und zudem die notwendige Beteiligung von AdressatInnen auszublenden. Aus diesen Herausforderungen resultiert die Kontur einer durch Fachkräfte zu erbringenden Form von Evidenz: In sie müssen etablierte wissenschaftliche Befunde ebenso einfließen wie Spezifika der jeweiligen Situationen und der Personen, mit denen gearbeitet wird.
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Jüngste Publikationen in renommierten Fachzeitschriften wie Nature und Science haben gezeigt, dass es Probleme bei der Replikation von Forschungsergebnissen gibt. Dieser Beitrag informiert über einige Befunde zum Replikationsproblem und befasst sich in diesem Kontext mit der Reproduzierbarkeit von Ergebnissen in der Kriminologie und exemplarisch mit der entwicklungsbezogenen Kriminalprävention. Es zeigt sich, dass zwar im Durchschnitt positive Evaluationsergebnisse vorliegen, aber auch erhebliche Unterschiede in den Effektstärken, die keineswegs nur auf die verschiedenen Inhalte von Programmen zurückzuführen sind. Dies erlaubt keine einfachen Empfehlungen über die Wirksamkeit. Darüber hinaus umfassen die meisten Evaluationen nur kurzfristig Follow-up-Zeiträume. Auch sehr gute Studien liefern nur teilweise konsistente Ergebnisse. Programmentwicklung und -implementierung sind oftmals nicht unabhängig. Die genannten und andere Probleme betreffen nicht nur die entwicklungsorientierte Kriminalprävention, sondern sind allgemeiner. Trotz deutlicher Fortschritte in der einschlägigen Evaluationsforschung zeigt der Beitrag, dass differenziertere Ansätze notwendig sind. Zahlreiche Merkmale der Programme, Kontexte, Zielgruppen und Forschungsmethodik spielen für die Programmwirkungen eine Rolle. Wesentliche Schritte auf dem Weg zu einer differenzierten und replizierten Evidenzbasis werden dargestellt.
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Youth with poor self-regulation or criminal attitudes are at risk for recidivism. Researchers have yet to examine how self-regulation and criminal attitudes intermix to influence recidivism. The present study employed a large sample of 26,947 youth in the Florida Juvenile Justice System to examine the effect of criminal attitudes on the association between self-regulation and recidivism over a 1-year period. The results indicated that the influence of self-regulation on recidivism varied based on youths’ attitudes. Although self-regulation affected recidivism among youth with average (dy/dx = –.03, SE = .01, p < .001) and less criminal (dy/dx = –.05, SE = .01, p < .001) attitudes, self-regulation was not associated with recidivism among youth with more criminal attitudes (dy/dx = –.01, SE = .01, p = .150). These findings demonstrate mechanisms that may promote sustained justice system involvement and identify key levers for reducing youth recidivism.
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This volume’s contention that regulations have a powerful role in crime control contradicts the prevailing positivism of criminology—that is, the contention that criminality is largely explained by criminals’ past experiences. This article draws upon recent critiques of positivism and explains the implications for contemporary criminology. It begins by describing the ideas of a London magistrate, Patrick Colquhoun, about the determinants of crime and the best means of its control. Colquhoun’s writings were the first developed discussion of regulating crime, but they were soon eclipsed by positivist thinking. I list numerous weakness of positivism and argue that, instead of seeing offenders’ behavior as determined by their past, greater account should be taken of the situational inducements and opportunities to commit crime that they encounter in their everyday lives. Instead of positivism, the dominant model of criminology and crime control should be a neoclassicist, bounded rational choice model, which would introduce situational design and management changes to restrict offenders choices and modify behavior. That change in orientation would open limitless opportunities for criminologists.
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We argue that reconceptualizing social bond theory (SBT) through incorporation of dual agency and change can identify unique causal change sequences, improve its ability to explain offending, and generate new questions about it. The reconceptualization recognizes that individuals and those with whom they interact play an ongoing role in contributing to the bond. It shows that changes in the bond can contribute to changes in delinquency through three sequences, each with a unique over-time pattern that depends on how bond agents respond to delinquency. We identify implications for SBT—highlighting that theoretical arguments about static effects do not necessarily equate to straightforward predictions about change effects—and, more broadly, efforts to advance theories of offending.
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This review discusses practical benefits and limitations of novel data-driven research for social scientists in general and criminologists in particular by providing a comprehensive examination of the matter. Specifically, this study is an attempt to critically evaluate ‘big data’, data-driven perspectives, and their epistemological value for both scholars and practitioners, particularly those working on crime. It serves as guidance for those who are interested in data-driven research by pointing out new research avenues. In addition to the benefits, the drawbacks associated with data-driven approaches are also discussed. Finally, critical problems that are emerging in this era, such as privacy and ethical concerns are highlighted.
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A crisis of confidence has struck the behavioral and social sciences. A key factor driving the crisis is the low levels of statistical power in many studies. Low power is problematic because it leads to increased rates of false-negative results, inflated false-discovery rates, and over-estimates of effect sizes. To determine whether these issues impact criminology, we computed estimates of statistical power by drawing 322 mean effect sizes and 271 average sample sizes from 81 meta-analyses. The results indicated criminological studies, on average, have a moderate level of power (mean = 0.605), but there is variability. This variability is observed across general studies as well as those designed to test interventions. Studies using macro-level data tend to have lower power than studies using individual-level data. To avoid a crisis of confidence, criminologists must not ignore statistical power and should be skeptical of large effects found in studies with small samples.
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Although Tittle and Curran in 1988 found support for the symbolic threat hypothesis, no further empirical investigations of the perspective have occurred to explain the contingencies of juvenile justice decision-making. We argue that past research has neglected this multilevel theory by only focusing on the “symbolic threat” thesis component, mischaracterizing the perspective as an inequality theory, or classifying the model as a derivative of Blalock’s minority group threat perspective. We contend that the original formulation of the symbolic threat hypothesis is a distinctive theory and offers a viable alternative to inequality and other racial/threat theoretical perspectives. The current study empirically tests the perspective in its entirety by examining the interrelationships between county-level characteristics (i.e. youth and minority populations), a juvenile’s race/ethnicity, and engaging in “moral offenses” with juvenile justice decision-making. The findings provide insight into the influence of contextual factors on the social control of youth of different racial/ethnic backgrounds.
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posits that the structure of science promotes revolutionary discovery. The decision of a scientific community to discard the status quo in favour of a revolutionary paradigm is influenced by sociological forces. Karl Popper disagreed, arguing that falsification is required. An examination of a random sample of 501 articles published in 14 peer-reviewed American outlets in criminology and criminal justice from 1993 to 2008 is coupled with oral histories from 17 leading criminologists in determining which approach best characterizes criminology. Twelve per cent of papers falsify theory. When not explicitly falsified, atrophy occurs when theory is overused (exhaus-tion), ignored (indolence) and subjected to a sustained critique (assault). The intention of the effort is to document and describe falsification and then invite further discourse.
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Translational criminology is a decision-making perspective that emphasizes the dynamic coproduction of evidence by researchers and practitioners, focusing on obstacles to and facilitators of evidence generation and utilization. It incorporates several other data-driven decision-making models, including evidence-based policy making. This review suggests that the availability of empirical research is no longer the most significant impediment to evidence-based policing. Rather, translating and implementing knowledge about ‘what works‘ in policing has arisen as the field’s primary barrier to securing the effectiveness and efficiency improvements of research and data utilization. This article orients readers to translational criminology’s various components and explores their applications. Focusing on four central considerations, this review explores the roles of researcher practitioner partnerships, policy, technology, and government in developing and sustaining translational efforts in policing. The review concludes by acknowledging challenges to fostering a translational perspective in policing, and offers examples of where it has been applied with success.
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This chapter provides an introduction to ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis in R. This is a technique used to explore whether one or multiple variables (the independent variable or X) can predict or explain the variation in another variable (the dependent variable or Y). OLS regression belongs to a family of techniques called generalized linear models, so the variables being examined must be measured at the ratio or interval level and have a linear relationship. The chapter also reviews how to assess model fit using regression error (the difference between the predicted and actual values of Y) and R². While you learn these techniques in R, you will be using the Crime Survey for England and Wales data from 2013 to 2014; these data derive from a face-to-face survey that asks people about their experiences of crime during the 12 months prior to interview.
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In December of 2017, Ray Paternoster published Happenings, Acts, and Actions: Articulating the Meaning and Implications of Human Agency for Criminology, in the Journal of Developmental and Life Course Criminology (JDLCC). Happenings embodied many years of reflection and scholarship that yielded Paternoster’s (2017) penultimate conception of human agency and its implications for criminological theory. Alongside Happenings, JDLCC also published a rebuttal, in which Cullen (2017) argued that criminology should disregard all background theoretical assumptions, including human agency, in favor of what he describes as strict positivism. In 2020, JDLCC published two additional commentaries on Happenings. Brezina (2020) attempted a “middle ground” approach grounded in Bandura’s social cognitive theory, that treats agency as a variable. Piquero (2020) echoed Brezina, and offered anecdotes to support Brezina’s position. Cullen, Brezina, and Piquero, however, did not faithfully capture the content or implications of Happenings. Moreover, a close read of the “middle ground” position proposed by Brezina, and echoed by Piquero, reveals that it resembles Cullen’s positivism and is thus incompatible with Paternoster’s conceptualization of agency. Below is our rejoinder on behalf of Ray Paternoster.
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Criminology is a smorgasbord of disparate theory and poorly integrated research findings. Theories tend to focus either on people's crime propensity or the criminogenic inducements of environments; rarely are these two main approaches effectively combined in the analysis of crime and its causes. Criminological research often either avoids questions of causation and explanation (e.g., risk factor approach) or is based on research designs that yield highly partial accounts (e.g., place-oriented experimental work). To advance knowledge about crime and its causes and prevention, we argue that there is a need for an analytic criminology that allows key theoretical insights and central empirical findings about people's crime propensities and environments’ criminogenic inducements and their combination to be integrated based on an adequate action theory. In this review, we outline this approach and its main methodological implications and discuss how its focus on why and how questions leads to a characteristic integration of theory development, methods, and research. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Criminology, Volume 5 is January 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
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Schröder diskutiert in ihrem Beitrag neue kriminalpräventive Konzepte für die Sicherheit im öffentlichen Raum. Hierbei werden sowohl unterschiedliche Definitionen von „Raum“ und „Sicherheit“ thematisiert, als auch die Konzepte des Design Thinking, des Gender Planning sowie des Place-Making, erläutert. Im Beitrag werden sicherheitsrelevante Maßnahmen und Handlungsmöglichkeiten für Planungsphasen im Neubau und Bestand dargelegt, sowie notwendige interdisziplinäre Kooperationen aufgezeigt.
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Largely overlooked in the theoretical and empirical literature on the crime decline is a long tradition of research in criminology and urban sociology that considers how violence is regulated through informal sources of social control arising from residents and organizations internal to communities. In this article, we incorporate the “systemic” model of community life into debates on the U.S. crime drop, and we focus on the role that local nonprofit organizations played in the national decline of violence from the 1990s to the 2010s. Using longitudinal data and a strategy to account for the endogeneity of nonprofit formation, we estimate the causal effect on violent crime of nonprofits focused on reducing violence and building stronger communities. Drawing on a panel of 264 cities spanning more than 20 years, we estimate that every 10 additional organizations focusing on crime and community life in a city with 100,000 residents leads to a 9 percent reduction in the murder rate, a 6 percent reduction in the violent crime rate, and a 4 percent reduction in the property crime rate.
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In order to investigate changes in scholarly influence in criminology and criminal justice over a 15-year time period, the most-cited scholars in six major American journals were determined for the period 1996-2000, and results were compared with those obtained for 1991-1995 and 1986-1990. The number of cited authors in these journals increased by 50% over this time period. Some highly cited authors were specialists, because they had one or two major works (usually theoretical books) cited a lot, whereas others were versatile because they had many different works with fewer citations each. The most highly cited works tended to be books rather than articles. During this 15-year time period, older scholars such as Marvin E. Wolfgang were being cited less often, while younger scholars such as Robert J. Sampson were becoming more highly cited. The most-cited scholars in 1996-2000 were Robert J. Sampson in American criminology journals and Francis T. Cullen in American criminal justice journals. An analysis of citations in Criminology in 2005 showed the emergence of the next generation of highly cited scholars, such as Alex R. Piquero. The most highly cited scholars in American criminology journals focused on longitudinal/criminal career research and/or criminological theories. The most highly cited scholars in American criminal justice journals focused either on these topics or on criminal justice issues such as rehabilitation, sentencing, and law enforcement.
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The goal of statistical analysis is to find patterns in data. Most statistical methods rely on analyzing the effect of the same set of variables on the population under study, i.e., nomothetic analysis. Therefore, when data are collected in the social sciences, most often they are put in a framework that resembles a spreadsheet: each row represents a separate individual, and each column represents a separate characteristic (or variable) that pertains to that individual. However, not all individuals in the study are affected by the same set of variables: each individual may have his/her own individual set of relevant variables, suggesting that methods be developed that consider them individually, i.e., idiographic analysis. Moreover, lives are lived chronologically, and are often best described in narrative form. These narratives usually have to be condensed, or abridged in other ways, in order to fit the data framework and permit what one might call ``algorithmic analysis”. Each set of methods has its advantage: nomothetic methods generate general laws that apply to all, while idiographic methods trace the putative causal relationships that are unique to each individual. This paper describes another data collection and analytic framework, one that (a) is chronological; (b) recognizes that different people may have experienced entirely different events and thus may need different ``variables” to understand their behavior; (c) recognizes that, even if people experience similar events, they may have entirely different reactions to them; and (d) can be studied (and patterns inferred) using an exploratory graphical analysis that is more free-form than algorithmic analysis. Examples of this type of analysis used in different medical and criminal justice contexts are given, and suggested directions of research in this area are described.
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The present study examines research trajectories of 20 academic “stars” relative to scholarship in 20 prominent and 7 elite criminology and criminal justice (CCJ) journals. We employ a modest subset of career concepts (frequency, specialization, seriousness, and co‐offending) to identify divergent pathways open to CCJ professionals as they begin work in academe or subsequently shape more mature careers. Findings suggest that research productivity varies depending on the measure utilized (e.g., type of outlet; weighted or unweighted; standardized or unstandardized). Different measures of central tendency provide different snapshots of institutional output. Publication frequencies are found to be far greater among stars employed at Carnegie Research I institutions. Regarding research type‐mix, the stars tend to be more eclectic than specialized, with indications of a relationship between number of articles published and breadth of topic areas. Future directions for research are also discussed.
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Increasing evidence shows great diversity in the effects of the criminal sanction. Legal punishment either reduces, increases, or has no effect on future crimes, depending on the type of offenders, offenses, social settings, and levels of analysis. A theory of “defiance” helps explain the conditions under which punishment increases crime. Procedural justice (fairness or legitimacy) of experienced punishment is essential for the acknowledgment of shame, which conditions deterrence; punishment perceived as unjust can lead to unacknowledged shame and defiant pride that increases future crime. Both “specific” defiance by individuals and “general” defiance by collectivities results from punishment perceived as unfair or excessive, unless deterrent effects counterbalance defiance and render the net effect of sanctions irrelevant. By implication, crime might be reduced more by police and courts treating all citizens with fairness and respect than by increasing punishments. A variety of research designs can be used to test, refine, or reject the theory.
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Comments on research in "soft psychology" involving more ephemeral and unreplicable areas of study, focusing on the question of how large an effect must be to be considered important. The binomial effect size display (R. Rosenthal and D. B. Rubin; see record 1982-22591-001) is viewed as a useful way to display the practical magnitude of an effect size, regardless of whether the dependent variable is dichotomous or continuous. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This book presents the results of 20 years of ecological research into the nature of the relationship between the distribution of delinquency and the pattern of physical structure and social organization of 21 American cities. Uniform findings in every city confirm the hypothesis that the physical deterioration of residential areas accompanied by social disorganization is greatest in a central zone in the business district, intermediate in a middle zone, and lowest in the other zones, and that there is a progressive decline in the incidence of delinquency from the innermost zone where it is most concentrated to the peripheral areas. Delinquency is found to be highly correlated with changes in population, inadequate housing, poverty, presence of Negroes and foreign-born, tuberculosis, mental disorders, and adult criminality. The common basic factor is social disorganization or the absence of community effort to cope with these conditions. Causation of juvenile delinquency is to be sought more in terms of the community than of the individual. 107 maps pertaining to the cities studied and 118 tables relating to population and delinquency rates are included as well as a chapter describing the Chicago Area Project as a demonstration of the effective mobilization of community forces to combat delinquency and crime. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Among the best documented empirical regularities in criminology is the positive association between past and future delinquency and criminality. In this paper, we examine alternative interpretations of this association. One is that prior participation has a genuine behavioral impact on the individual. Prior participation may, for example, reduce inhibitions against engaging in delinquent activity. Such an effect is termed state dependence. A second explanation is that individuals differ in unmeasured delinquent propensity and this unmeasured propensity is persistent over time. This second explanation is a consequence of population heterogeneity. Using a three-wave panel data set, we attempt to distinguish these two interpretations of the positive association between past and future delinquency. Our results suggest that the positive association is principally due to a state-dependent influence. Theoretical implications and directions for future research are also discussed.