• 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 ...

Adolescence and Adulthood: Is Self-Control Stable Over Time?
Adolescence and Adulthood: Is Self-Control Stable Over Time?

As the previous chapter emphasized, how much self-control we develop early in life depends on pivotal factors related to early social interactions between parents and children, genetics, and neurobiological development, among other things. Without question, if high self-control is to emerge, a good start is critical—acquiring self-control early (relative to similarly aged others) is like starting a race with a head start and without the clock running. Under such circumstances, impressively hitting later milestones becomes much easier.

Indeed, those who develop self-control early tend to keep it and reap its rewards across the many ...

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