Term Paper: Concise Analysis of Self Control Theory of Crime Evaluation

Pages: 4 (1300 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 9  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] For instance, youth can be positively or negatively reinforced by parents, friends and relatives. Lastly, internal control is the influence of an individual's sense of right and wrong to embolden conformity. An example of reinforcement can be youth having an expected repudiation of bad behavior from parents. In addition, it can be the perspective of not wishing to disappoint family and close ones (Britt & Gottfredson, 2011).

Ideal Theory in Addressing Crime in America

By comparing the two theories, it can be perceived that the most fitting and ideal theory in addressing present day crime in the American society is the social control theory. This is largely because the social control theory is more custom-made to the aspect of criminality within the society. In contrast, the conflict theory is essentially focused on the actions of the society at large, which cannot be effective in diminishing crime in overall. Basically, the control theory lays emphasis as to how individuals end up becoming criminals. The theory purports that the values set within the society, norms they perceive and the beliefs and morals they hold have an influence on averting them from criminal behaviors and activities (Hirschi, 2002). However, it is imperative to note that this is not applicable to all individuals, bearing in mind that some people basically do not have any regard to the beliefs and morals mutual to the society. Therefore, the control theory is not suited to address crime in America.

In contrast, the social control theory lays emphasis on instituting control within the mind of an individual. It can be argued that instilling positive reinforcement perceptively can have a constructive influence on the actual behavior displayed. In this theory, there are greater prospects on addressing crime, ranging from the family to friends and to the authorities. To begin with, families can positively model the behaviors of individuals by aligning them to what is considered to be the fitting behavior in the society. In addition, by pointing out what is undesirable behavior, this can help in reducing crimes. Secondly, having morals and values instituted within the family setting can indirectly influence the youth from engaging in criminal behavior, knowing that such acts can disappoint and embarrass their loved ones. Moreover, authorities can have direct control by instituting and implementing laws that encourage the right behavior and punishing criminal behavior. In addition, with respect to rehabilitation, those displaying good behavior can be rewarded (Hagan, 2010). In general, this can help in addressing crime in contemporary America.


The upsurge in crime in America is a major concern. Therefore, the stakes of selecting the most fitting and ideal theory as a foundation for preventing violence and rehabilitating offenders are high. Self-control theory is delineated as the absence of individual self-discipline and restraint, and it is what leads to criminal behavior. Societal influences have an impact on individual self-control. For instance, an individual that is brought up by inefficacious parenting has a great likelihood of having less self-control compared to the one raised up by efficacious parenting (Hirschi, 2002). In analyzing conflict theory and social control theory, it can be concluded that the latter is the most fitting theory for addressing crime in present day America. The social control theory is able to impact the perception of an individual of what is deemed wrong and what is right, and having a sense of belonging and acceptance within the society.


Britt, C. L., &Gottfredson, M. R. (Eds.). (2011). Control theories of crime and delinquency (Vol. 1). Transaction Publishers.

Bystrova, E. G., & Gottschalk, P. (2015). Social Conflict Theory and White-collar Criminals: Why Does the Ruling Class Punish their Own? Pakistan Journal of Criminology, 7(1), 1.

Hagan, F. E. (2010). Introduction to criminology: Theories, methods, and criminal behavior. Sage.

Hirschi, T. (2002). Causes of delinquency. Transaction publishers.

Messner, S. F., & Krohn, M. D. (1989). Theoretical… [END OF PREVIEW]

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