Michael R. Gottfredson's research while affiliated with University of California, Irvine and other places

Publications (112)

Article
Full-text available
Contemporary research from around the world provides a body of consistent findings, making it an indispensable tool for the evaluation of crime theory. To be valid, general theories of crime must now be able to accommodate the results of this cross-national research. Modern Control Theory is used as an illustration for conceptualizing this body of...
Article
Full-text available
General theories of crime and delinquency are tested in part by their ability to explain the empirical findings of cross-national research. Systematic research using comparable survey methods provides a rich body of data from many countries and settings that inform such tests. There are several aspects of the general theory proposed by Gottfredson...
Article
Cambridge Core - Social Psychology - The Cambridge Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression - edited by Alexander T. Vazsonyi
Article
Students of criminal careers seek distinct longitudinal sequences of offenses committed by individual offenders. Their approach is explicitly theory free: It assumes that meaningfully different careers may be identified by close examination of the criminal activity of individuals over extended periods of time. They first locate in justice system re...
Article
Full-text available
School shootings tear the fabric of society. In the wake of a school shooting, parents, pediatricians, policymakers, politicians, and the public search for "the" cause of the shooting. But there is no single cause. The causes of school shootings are extremely complex. After the Sandy Hook Elementary School rampage shooting in Newtown, Connecticut,...
Article
Junger-Tas (Journal of Quantitative Criminology 8(1):9–28, 1992) studied the empirical validity of control theory and argued for a connection between basic theory and delinquency prevention policies (European Journal of Criminal Policy and Research 5(2):101–114, 1997). High quality experiments, including those with random assignment to different tr...
Article
Control theory remains a prominent explanation for crime and delinquency, generating a considerable body of empirical studies and frequent theoretical discussion. Although much of this scholarship lends support to the perspective, important issues have been raised as the perspective is extended, modified, and refined; among these are that the theor...
Chapter
In order to answer the question 'what is criminology?', it is necessary to first answer the question 'what is crime?'. If criminology is the scientific study of the causes and consequences of crime, then the first order problem for criminology is to define the proper scope for the field-what might be termed the 'problem of the dependent variable'....
Article
It is argued widely that an inmate's behavior while in prison is not related to his or her behavior after release. This putative lack of a relation is a point set forth in debates about discretionary release from prison by parole boards. This article reviews the empirical status of the prison behavior and release performance controversy and offers...
Article
Advocates of the concept of white-collar crime have failed to make the case for its scientific value. Steffensmeier's efforts to save the concept further support our view that it is flawed and misleading. His efforts support our contention that the correlates of white-collar crime are the same as the correlates of crime, that the age distribution o...
Article
This paper begins with a conceptual analysis of the idea of white-collar crime. It considers data relevant to popular images of white-collar crime and outlines a general theory of crime explicitly applicable to both ordinary and white-collar crime. This theory is compared with traditional explanations of white-collar crime, and several explicit emp...
Article
Social scientists are in a quandary about crime policy. On the one hand, the tools of their discipline incline them naturally toward a search for the causes of differences in delinquent behavior, an inclination which appears to be supportive of the potential for rehabilitative components to crime policy. Both the premise of determinism and the meth...
Article
The idea of selective incapacitation and the distinction between prevalence and incidence (participation and lambda) justify the search for a group of offenders whose criminality does not decline with age and who may be identified solely on the basis of legally relevant variables. This paper questions such research, arguing that the decline in age...
Article
ABSTRACT* * *This study attempts to ascertain how the legal a i m of rehabilitation are applied, as well as their social control consequences for a group of offenders sentenced under the Federal Youth Corrections Act (FYCA) of 1950. Discriminant function analyses were conducted on a random sample of 452 persons selected f o r a “special” FYCA rehab...
Article
Developmental criminology has raised the prospect that empirical classifications of offenders based on variations in the age of offending will assist in the prediction of and explanation for crime and delinquency. Additionally, developmental criminology suggests that events late in the life course may alter offending propensities in significant way...
Article
In the 10 years since its publication in A General Theory of Crime, the authors' self-control theory has been the focus of considerable research and critical assessment. This article responds to questions about the theory that have attracted the most thoughtful attention in the serious literature of the field.
Chapter
Initially, the Judicial Steering Committee in Dade County directed the research staff to examine bail and pretrial release practices for both misdemeanor and felony defendants. After discussion of the preliminary results at the first few meetings, the committee requested that we focus our attention on cases being processed as potentially bondable f...
Chapter
Although it is true that the general model of decision guidelines chosen by each of the judiciaries for further development was essentially the same—a decision matrix defined by a charge-seriousness and defendant-risk dimension—the processes leading to these selections were independent and were shaped by the local concerns of each of the courts. In...
Chapter
The research described in subsequent chapters was predicated on the experience of our earlier work in the Philadelphia Municipal Court.1 Perhaps the most fundamental question underlying the Philadelphia research was whether it would be possible to review and change the exercise of judicial discretion at the bail stage through this voluntary approac...
Chapter
The overriding purpose of the research presented in this book has been to discover the extent to which a court-based self-help guidelines methodology first developed in connection with parole and sentencing decisions 1and, implemented successfully in one large urban court system for bail, 2 could find application in more diverse court settings. The...
Chapter
Criticisms of bail practices in the United States have been prevalent during most of this century.1 A vast literature has documented the problems inherent in bail systems and attempts to institute reform.2 Despite two generations of “bail reform,” the first focusing on “community ties” and personal recognizance release and the second on public safe...
Chapter
In Chapter 4, we described the structure of the courts participating in the research and the paths taken by cases entering the criminal process. The first task of the research process in preparation for guidelines development involves a sort of “diagnosis,” or mapping of the special features of pretrial release decisionmaking in the context of crim...
Chapter
It is critical that a jurisdiction have the opportunity to anticipate a guidelines system well in advance of actual implementation. The criminal justice system should assess the utility and consider the resource implications of guidelines without having already committed to implementation on faith or, as one Boston judge aptly phrased it, by “buyin...
Chapter
It is possible to construct guidelines to address pretrial release decisionmaking in a variety of ways.1Depending on the particular philosophy of guidelines construction that one adopts, there will be implications for the kinds of data to be collected (if, indeed, data are to be collected at all), the types of cases to be represented, and the decis...
Chapter
We have already described some features of the defendants and their cases entering the three court systems. In Chapter 6, we briefly contrasted the decisions made about each cohort of defendants and their detention or release outcomes. We found differences among the sites in the characteristics of defendants entering the court systems and in the ki...
Chapter
The first pretrial-release-decision guidelines—then referred to as bail guidelines—were introduced experimentally in Philadelphia’s Municipal Court in 1981. This book has described the experiences of three “second-generation” jurisdictions that tested the pretrial release guidelines approach. It is fair to say that the pretrial release concept has...
Article
Discusses the divergence between control theory and the life-course perspective with regard to correlates of criminal behavior. It appears that the basic findings about crime and delinquency produced by cross-sectional and longitudinal research are the same. These correlates include versatility, stability, and age. It has been argued that these aut...
Chapter
Two years of research in the Dade County criminal courts revealed a very challenging situation: The criminal caseload was large and growing and was characterized by more serious criminal charges than the other courts participating in the research, and the jail facilities were critically overburdened. The bail process was very traditional in the sen...
Chapter
Our work in Boston, which began by working with two separate judicial steering and policy committees (one in the Suffolk County Superior Court and one in the Boston Municipal Court), shifted its focus to concentrate centrally on bail-pretrial-release decisionmaking in the Boston Municipal Court (BMC) as the work progressed into more advanced stages...
Chapter
As the use of guidelines has become more common—and the word itself overused—doubts have been expressed by some critics about guidelines’ ability to deliver on their original promise. Two broad sets of issues have been raised. The first involves the appropriateness of empirically based methods in guidelines development, and the second concerns the...
Chapter
In earlier chapters, we described the issues surrounding pretrial release decisionmaking in the United States and our research in three urban court systems leading to the development of decision guidelines. In this chapter, we consider the implementation of the guidelines, as the courts considered the practical questions involved in moving from dev...
Chapter
To begin our research, it was necessary to select three sites that not only had the willingness to participate in the self-study process but that also exhibited features likely to prove challenging for the method and to provide useful examples for other court systems. Selection of the sites was guided by three general principles: (1) they had to va...
Chapter
In each court, descriptive research and group discussions led to the next, more difficult step of trying to devise decision guidelines helpful in establishing an overall policy and as a day-to-day decisionmaking tool. Defining the task in general terms was straightforward: The goal was to devise a decisionmaking aid that would incorporate the parti...
Chapter
In its investigative stages, the guidelines research in the Maricopa County, Dade County, and Boston courts involved descriptive and analytic case studies. Its descriptive aspect involved a careful mapping of the progress of large samples of defendants through the criminal process in each location. We studied the decisions that produced the release...
Chapter
During the period between November 1984 and December 1986, the leadership of the superior court of Arizona in Maricopa County worked with the researchers to examine its pretrial release and detention practices and to devise pretrial release guidelines1 for use by pretrial services and commissioners at initial appearance. The initial version of the...
Article
Crime is the product of the confluence of individuals low on self-control and appropriate opportunities. The likelihood of crime varies continuously with age, but the meaning of criminal acts does not depend on the age of the offender. Distinctions based on age are thus arbitrary, and probably cause more trouble than they are worth. Special treatme...
Article
offer a critique of traditional theories of aggression / argue that most measures of aggression in laboratory experiments are inversely related to aggressive behavior outside the laboratory and reflect compliance to legitimized demands of experimenters rather than aggression / question the adequacy of the notion of an aggressive personality / argue...
Article
Recent attempts to improve the validity of prediction models of pretrial misconduct have incorporated the defendant's drug use, as indicated by drug test results. A related and important issue concerns the specific deterrent effect of drug testing the released pretrial population. Does drug monitoring of released defendants alter their drug use and...
Article
Efforts to construct theories of crime consistent with a priori principles typically prove unsatisfactory. Awareness of this fact led the early positivists to reject choice theories in favor of discipline-specific theories tested by examination of correlations among directly measurable variables. Today, disciplinary theories of crime rely more on a...
Article
By articulating a general theory of crime and related behavior, the authors present a new and comprehensive statement of what the criminological enterprise should be about. They argue that prevalent academic criminology—whether sociological, psychological, biological, or economic—has been unable to provide believable explanations of criminal be...
Article
The career model reappears with some consistency in the history of criminology. It consistently fails, however, to organize the facts about crime in a meaningful way. As a consequence, we predict that criminology will once again abandon career models in favor of theories of crime.
Chapter
Once an alleged offender has been taken into custody by arrest, it then must be decided whether he or she will remain in custody pending trial or will be released (and, if so, under what conditions). Traditionally, this decision has been the responsibility of the magistrate at the initial appearance.
Chapter
The occurrence of a crime signals the potential involvement of the criminal justice process. It is the triggering mechanism for discretionary actions on the part of victims and possibly of criminal justice functionaries. These discretionary actions are the very basis of the criminal justice system (Remington et al., 1969).
Chapter
Before outlining our ideas about how rationality can be enhanced in the criminal justice system, we should first look back upon the preceding chapters to see what general statements may be made about the empirical work we have summarized. We have reviewed a large number of studies, united only by their focus on a decision point of interest to our a...
Chapter
Once convicted, the offender must be sentenced. This human decision lies at the hub of current controversies about the basic purposes of the entire criminal justice system. Indeed, recent trends in the philosophy of sentencing address issues so fundamental to criminal justice that they must be expected to have a profound impact on the entire system...
Book
The study of decisions in the criminal justice process provides a useful focus for the examination of many fundamental aspects of criminal jus­ tice. These decisions are not always highly visible. They are made, or­ dinarily, within wide areas of discretion. The aims of the decisions are not always clear, and, indeed, the principal objectives of th...
Chapter
In 1870, at the organizational meeting of what is now the American Correctional Association, Sir Walter Crofton, who had been in charge of the Irish prison system, was a featured speaker. Crofton believed that the intent of the law was to make prisons “more than places of safekeeping” and that there should be programs of reform in prison with “tick...
Chapter
Police decisions have not been a neglected area of study and commentary by social scientists and legal scholars.1 On the contrary, the literature about police work is vast, diverse, and impossible to summarize briefly without violating its complexity.2 Our purposes, however, do not require a thorough review. Rather, we seek to investigate the infor...
Chapter
After a suspect has been arrested, and in the absence of a dismissal by the police or a magistrate at first appearance, it must be decided whether to initiate prosecution and, if so, for what crime or crimes. In most American jurisdictions this decision rests with the district attorney.1 In this chapter we will review selected empirical studies bea...
Chapter
Decisions made in correctional institutions may be classed as program decisions (on program planning or resource allocation) or as individual decisions (affecting the placement of persons in differing institutions, custody levels, degrees of supervision, or treatment programs). As with correctional decisions in the community, these decisions are su...
Chapter
Decisions about convicted offenders do not end with the sentence of the judge. Indeed, a new series of decisions is only beginning—whether the offender is to be placed on probation (usually with suspension of a more severe sanction), whether he or she is to be sent to jail (or these sanctions are to be used in combination), whether another alternat...
Article
This paper argues that the increasing dominance in contemporary criminology of the longitudinal or cohort study is not justified on methodological grounds, that this research design has taken criminological theory in unproductive directions, has produced illusory substantive findings, and has promoted policy conclusions of doubtful utility. In addi...
Article
When we first read David F. Greenberg's attack on our article "Age and the Explanation of Crime," we were more than a little puzzled. Why were we confronted with a blunderbuss critique of our research that does not even attempt to advance a positive thesis? Why are we challenged by an elementary description of the advantages of longitudinal designs...
Article
A major criticism of official statistics on crime is that they use inappropriate bases for computing rates. Here we investigate whether computing crime rates that contain in their denominators the number of exposures to risk of a specific event (e.g., residential burglary and auto theft) provides more accurate forecasts than employing the tradition...
Article
One of the few facts agreed on in criminology is the age distribution of crime. This fact has been used to criticize social theories of crime causation, to provide the foundation for other theories, to justify recent emphases on career criminals, and to support claims of superiority for longitudinal designs in criminological research. In the presen...
Article
This title features eight articles that represent a variety of viewpoints on the causes of crime - from the social learning tradition to the multiple factor approach to sociobiology and the behaviourist approaches. The editors' introduction puts the research reported here into the context of the long-standing debate. 'SAGE Publications are to be co...
Article
Case law and statutes governing bail practices in the US are reviewed to characterize the ambiguous legal framework within which bail judges must operate. Bail decisions in a large urban jurisdiction are analyzed as a case study to discover the factors most influential in determining pretrial release options. It is inferred that, even after years o...
Article
This paper reviews the arguments and supporting research bearing on the question of the reduction of sentencing disparity by parole boards. Some new data are then offered as a preliminary examination of whether parole boards, operating under explicit decision guidelines, achieve a substantial sentence equalization function. The data strongly sugges...
Article
Black's (1979) comment, when read in conjunction with The Behavior of Law (Black, 1976), raises several questions pertaining to the scientific adequacy of his theory of law. This paper assesses Black's theory against two criteria of scientific adequacy: generality and falsifiability. Black (1979) rejects our use of victimization survey data to test...
Article
In The Behavior of Law, Black (1976) sets forth a theory of law that he argues explains variations in law across societies and among individuals within societies. Black argues that law can be conceived of as a quantitative variable, measured by the number and scope of prohibitions, obligations and other standards to which people are subject. Law va...

Citations

... Our results revealed self-control skills in childhood are a protective factor against self-or mother-reported peer victimization. This provides further support for the self-control theory, which suggests that low self-control skills put individuals at risk for victimization since those with low self-control skills may be less likely to consider later consequences than those who have high self-control skills (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990). Thus, having higher self-control skills is a protective factor in both VPT and FT born adolescents regarding emotional problems and peer victimization. ...
... Lastly, among demographic characteristics, only age achieved a significant influence on survival time. Respondents who were older at release had longer survival times, echoing the validity of the age-crime curve (Hirschi & Gottfredson, 2008;Sweeten et al., 2013). With the other covariates in the model, neither gender nor race were found to have significant predictor power on survival time. ...
... For this purpose, three samples were used that covered the first and second decades of life, childhood, early adolescence, as well as late adolescence. The study also addressed an important original tenet by Gottfredson and Hirschi, namely the extent to which theoretical predictions find cross-cultural applicability (see also Gottfredson, 2021). ...
... Several studies recognized the lack of different forms of social control as a risk factor for addiction to pornographic sites, but also other types of deviant behavior [21,25,37,40]. One of the risk factors for Internet sex addiction is a lack of religiosity [20,32,45,50]. ...
... This means that society and culture become dependent on the effectiveness of socialization, namely the extent to which the individual learns the values, attitudes, and behavior of the community and their families (Goode, 2020). Hirschi & Gottfredson (2017) stated that crime occurs when a person's ties to society are weakened or broken. The main idea behind the control theory is that deviance is the result of a lack of control or social control. ...
... Chapter 1 purports to put ADV in a developmental context, and chapter 4 notes that the risk for IPV peaks at ages 16-18 (p. 73), but the entire book ignores discussion of the age-crime curve in criminology (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 2001), suggesting that all crime peaks in adolescence. Placed in this context, the research finding is not so much noteworthy or interesting as epi-phenomenological. ...
... On one hand, we can comment on such result stating that among readiness for aggression patterns those describing habitual and socially determined aggressive acts better correlated with prejudice than others kinds of traits responsible for impulsive actions and lack of appropriate emotional control. In fact, reading from past research (Gottfred & Hirshi, 1990;Jessor & Jessor, 1977), we know that prejudice towards ethnic and racial out-groups may associate with developmental maladjustment or general problem-behavior syndrome. Accordingly, manifestations of extreme prejudice could be correlated to a larger pattern of antisocial behavior (Kiesner, Maass, Cadinu, & Vallese, 2003) in which high levels of cognitive intentional aspect of aggression may as well be included (Shaffer, Meyer-Bahlburg, & Stokman, 1981). ...
... Self-control theory, also known as the general theory of crime, is one of the most tested and well-supported explanations of deviant attitudes and offending behaviors [47]. According to Gottfredson and Hirschi [48], individuals with less self-control are more likely to adopt deviant attitudes and to become involved in delinquent or criminal activities in pursuit of immediate gratification without considering the potential consequences. ...
... Industry surveys conducted in 2018 in the U.S. indicate that 75% of employees have stolen from their employer at least once (Statistic Brain Research Institute, 2018). The 2019 surveys found that 95% of businesses were hurt by employee theft (California Restaurant Association, 2019); estimates of the cost of employee theft are $50 billion annually (Statistic Brain Research Institute, 2018); more than a third of employees have stolen from their employers more than once (Statistic Brain Research Institute, 2018); two-thirds of cyber breaches are caused by employees' negligence or malicious acts (Willis Towers Watson, 2017); and, over the past two decades, corporate theft has increased more than 10% (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2002, 2018. Additional data indicate that: stealing in the workplace starts small and can escalate to enormous losses (Chun, 2019); men make up the majority of offenders (about 60%; Statistic Brain Research Institute, 2018); about 75% of businesses are victims of "time theft" where employees were paid for hours they did not actually work (Osterhaus, 2015); time theft costs upward of 7% of the total gross payroll of companies; "sweet hearting," which involves an employee using their employee discount for their family and friends to buy a specific item, costs businesses approximately $210 billion a year (Brady et al., 2012); and the average time to detect employee fraud is between 18 and 24 months (Statistic Brain Research Institute, 2018). ...
... The Dark Inventory -Short Form (DI-SF; Figueredo et al., 2018a) was designed to measure DT characteristics in a different way than the conventional one. Instead of estimating three overlapping personality profiles, or syndromes (Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy), the Dark Inventory is comprised of three correlated lower-order factors: (ASS) The Antagonistic Social Schema Factor, which includes the components such as deception, grandiosity, external blame, suspicion of others, and nonconformity; (MSS) The Mutualistic Social Schema Factor, which includes the components such as emotional empathy, emotional attachment, and affiliative dominance; (ACL) The Affective and Cognitive Lability Factor, which includes the components such as boredom, impulsive attitudes, and the emotional temperance during stressful situations. ...