Bradley R. E. Wright
An individual who commits a crime may be influenced by forces both within and outside of that person. Criminologists have given these forces different names, including “internal limits” and “external limits” (Lemert, 1951), “inner containment” and “outer containment” (Reckless, 1967), and “self-control” and “social control” (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990; Hirschi, 1969). More generally, we can think of such influences as either psychological (i.e., within a person) or sociological (i.e., between people). A life-course model of interdependence specifies the relative influence of these inner- and outer-influences on crime. This model posits that external, sociological influences have greater impact on people who are internally, psychologically predisposed to crime. For example, people with more education are less likely to commit crime because they have more to lose if caught. Also, people less able to defer gratification are more likely to commit crime because they have less control over their impulses. Putting these two ...