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Crime Causation: Sociological Theories - Integrated Theories

delinquent peers association control

Several theorists have attempted to combine certain of the above theories in an effort to create integrated theories of crime. The most prominent of these integrations are those of Terence P. Thornberry and Delbert S. Elliott and associates. Elliott's theory states that strain and labeling reduce social control. For example, school failure and negative labeling may threaten one's emotional bond to conventional others and investment in conventional society. Low social control, in turn, increases the likelihood of association with delinquent peers, which promotes the social learning of crime. Thornberry attempts to integrate control and social learning theories. Like Elliott, he argues that low control at home and at school promotes association with delinquent peers and the adoption of beliefs favorable to delinquency. Thornberry, however, also argues that most of the causes of crime have reciprocal effects on one another. For example, low attachment to parents increases the likelihood of association with delinquent peers, and association with delinquent peers reduces attachment to parents. Likewise, delinquency affects many of its causes: for example, it reduces attachment to parents and increases association with delinquent peers (an argument compatible with labeling theory). Further, Thornberry argues that the causes of crime vary over the life course. For example, parents have a much stronger effect on delinquency among younger than older adolescents. Factors like work, marriage, college, and the military, however, are more important among older adolescents.

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over 5 years ago

This is most likely the best approach of all. It is the belief I hold. It makes good sense that it is a combination of interactive forces and when for instance the parents are absentee, that lowers the family bond, reduces control, and increases the likelihood of hanging out with bad influences. It all works together.

This is good material to consider in all decision making for laws and social issues for society. Programs like the YMCA after school activities for latchkey children are very good measures to help with this problem. It needs expanding to meet this great need in our society.

Churches should lean in this direction if they want to contribute to society in a meaningful way. It would raise them up in their position in society and at the same time help solve the problem of latchkey children for single parents.

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