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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines two patterns of change seen in individual offending behaviors at certain times and ages: acceleration or deceleration and escalation or de-escalation. In order to answer the questions regarding the age–crime curve and its applicability to the criminal careers of specific individuals, the prevalence of offending in the population and the frequency of offending within individual criminal careers must be examined through these patterns. Hence, the chapter begins with a brief review of the origin of the criminal career paradigm and a description of its various parameters. It then discusses both static and dynamic developmental and life-course theories of crime before providing a more in-depth discussion of acceleration/deceleration and escalation/de-escalation as it relates to a criminal career, respectively. Finally, this chapter concludes by offering directions for future research on these topics.

Keywords: acceleration, deceleration, escalation, de-escalation, individual offending behaviors, age–crime curve, criminal careers, criminal career paradigm

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