Low Self-Control and Crime in Late Adulthood

Scott E. Wolfe, Michael Reisig, Kristy Reisig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates whether low self-control theory explains self-reported criminal activity in late adulthood. Cross-sectional survey data from telephone interviews conducted with individuals aged 60 years and older in Arizona and Florida (N = 2,000) are used. Regression analyses show that low self-control is related to criminal offending. The relationship between low self-control and offending persists after the introduction of potential mediators (e.g., unstructured socializing, negative emotions, and familial ties) and is even observed across different stages of late adulthood (i.e., young–old, old–old, and oldest–old) characterized by declining physical and cognitive abilities. Robustness checks using alternative measurement and modeling strategies also provide empirical support. Although strong causal inferences are limited by the nature of the data, the findings generally support the notion that low self-control theory partially explains criminal offending in late adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-790
Number of pages24
JournalResearch on Aging
Volume38
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Fingerprint

self-control
Crime
adulthood
offense
control theory
Aptitude
telephone interview
cognitive ability
Emotions
emotion
Cross-Sectional Studies
Regression Analysis
Interviews
regression
Self-Control

Keywords

  • elderly
  • late adulthood
  • life course
  • self-control
  • self-reports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Low Self-Control and Crime in Late Adulthood. / Wolfe, Scott E.; Reisig, Michael; Reisig, Kristy.

In: Research on Aging, Vol. 38, No. 7, 01.10.2016, p. 767-790.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wolfe, Scott E. ; Reisig, Michael ; Reisig, Kristy. / Low Self-Control and Crime in Late Adulthood. In: Research on Aging. 2016 ; Vol. 38, No. 7. pp. 767-790.
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