Formation of self-control: Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime and beyond

Buker H.

AGGRESSION AND VIOLENT BEHAVIOR, vol.16, no.3, pp.265-276, 2011 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.avb.2011.03.005
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.265-276
  • Police Academy Affiliated: No


Self-control is an important concept in the recent criminological theory with consistent empirical support as a predictor of criminality. Although the empirical studies consistently supported the self-control-criminality relation as proposed by the general theory of crime (GTC), there is a developing body of literature concerning the formation of self-control. Testing the propositions of the GTC on the formation of self-control, criminological theory literature as well as other disciplines provided several important insights regarding how self-control is generated. This paper systematically reviews the findings of the studies from several fields (n = 44) and provides an overview of their findings. In conclusion, this review process indicated that the formation of self-control is far more complex than the propositions of the GTC. In addition to the parental socialization processes as discussed by the GTC, several studies indicated that there are other factors, such as social context, education process, biological and neurological factors, affecting the generation of self-control. Other disciplines, along with criminology, contributed significantly to direct future research on this concept and provided important guidelines for public policy makers as discussed within this study. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.