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Self-Regulation

Self-regulation refers to the monitoring of one’s own behavior through the lens of prevailing moral and social conventions and the subsequent modification of behavior that is discrepant with personal goals and/or standards. Criminal behavior is inherently tied to the construct of self-regulation. Behaviors such as sexual offending, violence, and general antisociality are associated with a failure to modify behavior according to societal standards. Within the criminal justice system, there is a significant heterogeneity with respect to crimes committed and characteristics of criminal offenders. Accordingly, there are numerous factors that undermine self-regulatory capacity and thus contribute to criminal behavior. This entry focuses on mechanisms underlying self-regulatory failure that contributes to criminality, explains how these mechanisms are linked to distinct criminal types, and then explores the implications ...

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