Taking stock of life-course criminology

Arjan Blokland, V.R. van der Geest

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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book covers the latest developments in life-course criminological theory. It reviews two popular life-course theories—Sampson and Laub's age-graded theory, and Giordano and colleagues' cognitive transformation theory—focusing on the role of human agency in these theories. Challenged by the longitudinal perspective of the life-course approach, the book examines how both continuity and change can be understood from the perspective of the Situational Action Theory. The book investigates important aspects of criminal careers, and focuses on the development of delinquency and crime in adolescence and early adulthood. It draws from in-depth interviews with a subsample of young adults in the Pathways to Desistance Study, a prospective longitudinal study of desistance from crime among serious adolescent offenders from Phoenix, Arizona, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The book summarizes the key findings of the Individual Development and Adaption (IDA) study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Life-Course Criminology
EditorsArjan Blokland, Victor van der Geest
PublisherRoutledge Publishers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781315747996
ISBN (Print)9781138813663, 9780367581336
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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