Morality, self-control, and crime

Olena P Antonaccio, Charles R. Tittle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper offers evidence to specify further Self-Control Theory by investigating its predictive strength relative to morality and its interconnections with morality in accounting for criminal probability. Using random sample household survey data from Lviv, Ukraine, we confirm that self-control is an important predictor of criminal probabilities in an unusual cultural context. However, morality is also shown to be a strong independent predictor with strength that seems to exceed substantially that of self-control. In addition, taking morality into account significantly reduces the coefficients for self-control, sometimes eliminating them entirely, and morality shows little interaction with self-control in its predictions of the measures of criminal probability. The results suggest that the recently formulated Situational Action Theory, which features (weak) morality as the prime cause of criminal behavior and questions the relative importance of self-control, should be taken seriously. Overall, the results confirm the importance of self-control as a factor in misbehavior; yet, they also provide a mandate for greater attention to morality as a potent variable in understanding misconduct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-510
Number of pages32
JournalCriminology
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

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self-control
Crime
morality
offense
action theory
Ukraine
criminality
control theory
interconnection
household survey
Self-Control
random sample
cause
interaction
evidence

Keywords

  • Morality
  • Self-Control Theory
  • Situational Action Theory
  • Ukraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Morality, self-control, and crime. / Antonaccio, Olena P; Tittle, Charles R.

In: Criminology, Vol. 46, No. 2, 01.05.2008, p. 479-510.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Antonaccio, Olena P ; Tittle, Charles R. / Morality, self-control, and crime. In: Criminology. 2008 ; Vol. 46, No. 2. pp. 479-510.
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