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Sanctions, short-term mindsets, and delinquency: Reverse causality in a sample of high school youth

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Ribeaud, D 
Eisner, M 

Abstract

jats:secjats:titlePurpose</jats:title>jats:pWe question the commonly assumed view of a fixed causal ordering between self‐control, delinquency, and sanctions and test the hypothesis that experiencing sanctions may reduce levels of self‐control, thereby increasing the risk of future delinquent behaviour. As a subsidiary goal, we argue for a parsimonious view of self‐control that is limited to its key components, risk‐taking, and impulsivity.</jats:p></jats:sec>jats:secjats:titleMethods</jats:title>jats:pWe use three waves of data from the Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood into Adulthood (z‐proso), an ongoing prospective longitudinal study of Swiss urban youth (jats:italicN</jats:italic> = 1,197), and include police contacts and school sanctions as predictors of delinquency. We test our hypothesis using path analysis and control for a series of potential confounders, including prior levels of self‐control and earlier delinquency.</jats:p></jats:sec>jats:secjats:titleResults</jats:title>jats:pIn line with our hypothesis, the results indicate that sanctioning reduces levels of self‐control, net of prior levels of self‐control, and earlier delinquency and that self‐control mediates the relation between sanctioning and subsequent delinquency.</jats:p></jats:sec>jats:secjats:titleConclusions</jats:title>jats:pWe conclude that the relation between self‐control and crime may be bi‐ rather than unidirectional with sanctions reducing levels of self‐control, which in turn contributes to criminal behaviour. Implications for theory are discussed.</jats:p></jats:sec>

Description

Keywords

deterrence, impulsivity, risk-taking, sanctions, self-control, short-term mindsets

Journal Title

Legal and Criminological Psychology

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1355-3259
2044-8333

Volume Title

25

Publisher

Wiley