• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What exactly is self-control, and what life outcomes does it affect? What causes a person to have high or low self-control to begin with? What effect does self-control have on crime and other harmful behavior? Using a clear, conversational writing style, Self-Control and Crime Over the Life Course answers critical questions about self-control and its importance for understanding criminal behavior. Authors Carter Hay and Ryan Meldrum use intuitive examples to draw attention to the close connection between self-control and the behavioral choices people make, especially in reference to criminal, deviant, and harmful behaviors that often carry short-term benefits but long-term costs. The text builds an overall theoretical perspective that conveys the multi-disciplinary nature of modern-day self-control research. Moreover, far from emphasizing only theoretical issues, the ...


Life is filled with temptations, but many carry the risk of negative consequences. Sometimes the consequences are trivial and emerge far in the future, if at all. In other instances, the risks are more severe and immediate. A struggling college student, for example, may lack the willpower to study for final exams that are critical to staying in school. Or a paroled offender may want to smoke pot with his friends—an allure that must be balanced against the possibility of a failed drug test and a return to prison. Whether big or small, each temptation calls on us to assess our options and make a decision—do we ...

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