Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Hirschi, Travis: Social Control Theory
Barbara J. Costello
Social control theory was first expounded in its modern form by Travis Hirschi in his 1969 book Causes of Delinquency , which is one of the most heavily cited works in the field of criminology. Subjected to hundreds of empirical tests, social control theory is one of the most widely validated explanations of criminal and delinquent behavior. More than 40 years after its publication, it is still widely cited and tested. It continues to be tested in doctoral dissertation, and many of its key elements continue to be included in integrated theories of crime and in empirical inquiries, both in the United States and abroad. Although the theory is not without its critics, it would be difficult to overstate the influence of Hirschi's social control theory on the field of criminology. The fundamental question addressed with social control theory can be traced back to the work of Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes, ...