Criminology Assignment 7 - Connor Dahl Writing Assignment 7...

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Connor Dahl6/13/2017Writing Assignment 7Part One:1.)Life-course:The life course perspective is focused in two areas of study. First, is the focus of development and dynamics of problem behaviors and offending categorized with age. Second, is the identification and impact of causal factors that happen prior to and throughout the behavioral development. Psychologists embrace the ideas of the life-course, as it tends to examine behavior on the individual level. For similar reasons, criminologists are hesitant to accept the perspective. Criminology tends to focus and analyze on macro-level criminal behavior while psychology tends to focus on differences between individuals. Brown et. al. gives three reasons why criminology and sociology scrutinize behavior on the macro-level, “(1) longitudinal panel data sets that allow for examination of individual change over time are exceedingly rare; (2) criminologists have traditionally believed in the stability of personality over time; and (3) a reliance on official measure of criminal behavior has resulted in a left-handed censoring of important information - that is, little is known about law violators and their behavior prior to official notice thus making it difficult to discuss the causes of behavior” (377). For these reasons, many criminologists say, it is not as useful to study behavior on a micro-level compared to the macro-level.
The life-course perspective argues that criminal behavior can be impacted by life events such as employment, marriage, children, etc. However, Hirschi and Gottfredson’s general theory of crime would argue that criminal behavior through the lifecourse is determined at an early age and motivated solely by self-control. Sampson and Laub portray a developmental model of behavior that is rooted in the correlation between crime and social bonds. Their model states that criminal behavior can begin orbe terminated at any point during the life course. Policy implications, therefore, suggestthat intervening at only one point in the life-course is ineffective because criminal behavior can begin at any time. Second, it implies that multiple intervention strategies may be required to serve the needs of the individual. Third, interventions should target protective factors as well as risk factors. That is, they should promote positive social bonds as well as address negative or delinquent behavior. Fourth, prior behavior influences current and future behavior (i.e. early intervention necessary for preventing adult offending). Lastly, the role of the peer group is vital. Life-course perspective suggests that policy should be aimed at disrupting anti-social behavior and delinquent peer groups, as well as teaching resistance strategies.

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