Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Criminology and Criminal Justice


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Robert Brame


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.