This research tests Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime as an explanation for gender differences in the delinquency of approximately 2,000 Canadian secondary school students. Separate psychological factors, including a preference for risk seeking, impulsivity, temper, present oriented, and carelessness, are used as measures of self-control, and additional measures of the construct are taken from the frequency of self-reported smoking and drinking. Elements of delinquent opportunity are controlled for by including measures of parental/adult super-vision. These measures and their interactions are used to predict self-reported general delinquency, property offenses, violence, and drug offenses. Results provide partial support for the general theory, revealing relationships between measures of self-control and delinquency that vary by magnitude across genders and for different offense types. Implications for the generality of the theory are discussed.
Lagrange, Teresa C. and Silverman, Robert A., "Low Self-Control and Opportunity: Testing the General Theory of Crime as an Explanation for Gender Differences in Delinquency" (1999). Sociology & Criminology Faculty Publications. Paper 34.
Lagrange, T. C., & Silverman, R. A. (1999). Low self-control and opportunity: Testing the general theory of crime as an explanation for gender differences in delinquency. Criminology, 37(1), 41-72. doi:10.1111/j.1745-9125.1999.tb00479.x