Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Sub-Department

College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Robert Brame

Abstract

Since the stability problem was first outlined by Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) in their influential work A General Theory of Crime it has received a steady stream of attention from the academic community. Researchers have studied juveniles and adults and have implemented a variety of methodological and statistical approaches. Many of these studies do not show support for the theoretical concept outlined by Gottfredson and Hirschi; yet, there were exceptions. The current study used a slightly different theoretical approach accompanied with research methodology that is still in its infancy. While most studies testing the relative stability of self-control use longitudinal datasets with months or years between waves the current study uses days. The logic behind shortening the wavelength is due to the nature of self-control and its manifestations. If individuals who have low self-control make momentary, snap decisions without thought of the consequences those decisions have the next day, why study low-control over such broad wavelengths? The current study explored the short-term relative stability of self-control. The findings showed strong relative self-control among multiple self-control measures. However, interesting changes were witnessed in absolute stability of self-control.

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