Control Theory: Understanding Criminal Behavior Research Paper

Pages: 2 (720 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Sociology


On the other hand, those with strong social bonds are not expected to become criminals, or at least that's the way the theory works. Bonds of course are "variable," which means they can be strong over a person's life, or they can be "extinguished at any point" and the individual that had been held steady and stable by those bonds may now not be in control of his actions the way he once was (Gottfredson, 79).

Meanwhile a study that was conducted in Canada, using 1,311 young people from across the nation, verified the assertions that are made in Hirschi's social control theory. Data were gathered from these 1,311 youths at the age of 10 and 11 (in 1994-95); again data was collected when the youths were 12 and 13 years of age (1996-1997); and once again in 1998-1999 data was gathered when the 1,311 young people were 14 and 15 years of age (Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services -- OMCYS).

The results show that "young people who behaved violently often came from classrooms that provided little emotional support"; and those students who were fortunate to have been in classrooms that had "stronger supportive and social interactions at the ages of 10 and 11, were less likely" to have shown violent tendencies when they turned 12 and 13 (OMCYS).

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Moreover, another study conducted in the United States -- using 6,397 young people from 125 American public schools as part of the research -- in the years 1995 and 1996 found some interesting results. The data from this research showed that those youth that had "committed increasingly more violent offenses in the second survey" were "more likely than other young people" to have indicated they did not have a strong connection to their schools (OMCYS). Also, in addition to connections to schools, the survey found that there was "…a positive relationship…between feeling connected to parents and feeling connected to school" (OMCYS).

Works Cited

Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. (2008). Review of the Roots of Youth

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APA Style

Control Theory: Understanding Criminal Behavior.  (2014, March 29).  Retrieved December 6, 2021, from

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"Control Theory: Understanding Criminal Behavior."  29 March 2014.  Web.  6 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Control Theory: Understanding Criminal Behavior."  March 29, 2014.  Accessed December 6, 2021.