Low Self-Control and the Religiosity-Crime Relationship

Michael Reisig, Scott E. Wolfe, Travis C. Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two arguments have been advanced regarding the effect of low self-control on the religiosity-crime relationship. The first holds that self-control explains both religiosity and criminal offending (the confounding hypothesis), whereas the second posits that religiosity promotes self-control and indirectly affects antisocial behavior (the mediation hypothesis). Both hypotheses predict that the observed effect of religiosity on criminal offending is a spurious result of individual variations in self-control. With cross-sectional survey data from a university-based sample of 769 adult participants, the regression models indicate that the effect of religiosity on self-reported criminal offending is no different from zero after controlling for low self-control. This finding is observed when different religiosity measures are used. Religiosity did, however, predict minor crimes characterized by personal indulgence (i.e., ascetic offenses) independent of low self-control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1191
Number of pages20
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Volume39
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Fingerprint

self-control
Crime
offense
Cross-Sectional Studies
mediation
regression
university

Keywords

  • crime
  • offending
  • religion
  • religiosity
  • self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

Cite this

Low Self-Control and the Religiosity-Crime Relationship. / Reisig, Michael; Wolfe, Scott E.; Pratt, Travis C.

In: Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 39, No. 9, 09.2012, p. 1172-1191.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reisig, Michael ; Wolfe, Scott E. ; Pratt, Travis C. / Low Self-Control and the Religiosity-Crime Relationship. In: Criminal Justice and Behavior. 2012 ; Vol. 39, No. 9. pp. 1172-1191.
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