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Differential self-control effects : moral filtering an the subsidiary relevance of self-control


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Hirtenlehner, Helmut ; Leitgöb, Heinz:
Differential self-control effects : moral filtering an the subsidiary relevance of self-control.
In: International Criminology. (2021).
ISSN 2662-9968 ; 2662-9976



Criminological research has identified low self-control as major cause of criminal activity. However, astonishingly little is known about the individual and situational characteristics that affect the functioning of self-control in relation to crime. Recent theorizing, especially in the context of Situational Action Theory, suggests that the interplay of personal and contextual morality creates a morally preselected choice set whose composition determines the relevance of self-control. Guided by the ideas of differential self-control effects and a moral filtering of action alternatives, the present inquiry investigates whether the role of self-control in crime causation depends on the power of moral factors to exclude crime from the set of the considered behavioral options. We argue that the significance of an individual’s capacity for self-control increases with a growing weakness of the moral filter, reaching its maximum when both personal and setting morality encourage criminal activity. Analyses of self-report data on adolescent vandalism delinquency provide support for differential self-control effects. The general picture is that self-control ability matters most when the strength of the moral filter hits a low, which is when both an individual’s own moral rules and the moral norms of the setting facilitate offending. Further evidence suggests that crime contemplation is highest when individual morality and setting morality jointly encourage vandalism. There is also indication that trait self-control has a greater effect on vandalism delinquency at higher levels of crime contemplation. All these results accord with the notion of a subsidiary relevance of control.

Weitere Angaben

Zusätzliche Informationen:Online First
Sprache des Eintrags:Englisch
Institutionen der Universität:Geschichts- und Gesellschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät > Soziologie > Lehrstuhl für Soziologie und empirische Sozialforschung
DOI / URN / ID:10.1007/s43576-021-00012-3
Open Access: Freie Zugänglichkeit des Volltexts?:Nein
Verlag:Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Titel an der KU entstanden:Ja
Eingestellt am: 03. Mai 2021 16:10
Letzte Änderung: 18. Nov 2021 13:43
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