- Revisiting Lombroso
- Biology and Crime
- Parenting and Crime
- The Psychology of Criminal Conduct
- Risk Factors and Crime
- Social Learning and Crime
- Hirschi’s Criminology
- General Strain and Urban Youth Violence
- Social Support and Crime
- Life-Course-Persistent Offenders
- Change in Offending across the Life Course
- Two Approaches to Developmental/Life-Course Theorizing
- Peer Networks and Crime
- Contemporary Gang Ethnographies
- Girls, Friends, and Delinquency
- Gender and Theories of Delinquency
- Neighborhood Ties, Control, and Crime
- Community, Inequality, and Crime
- Street Culture and Crime
- The Code of the Suburb and Drug Dealing
- Social Institutions and Crime
- The Market Economy and Crime
- Immigration and Crime
- Choosing Street Crime
- Choosing White-Collar Crime
- Emotions, Choice, and Crime
- Routine Activity Theory
- The Theory of Target Search
- Crime Places and Place Management
- Multilevel Criminal Opportunity
- Coercion and Crime
- Green Criminology
- Perceptual Deterrence Theory
- The Effects of Imprisonment
- Coercive Mobility
Abstract and Keywords
According to social support theory, people who live in environments that provide more support are less likely to commit a crime. In other words, criminal behavior is discouraged when societies, cities, neighborhoods, friendship networks, and families provide individuals with the necessary tools to live a prosocial lifestyle. The social structure of societies can thus create positive conditions that improve individuals and their lives in ways that reduce the likelihood of engaging in criminal activities. This article discusses social support theory, including its conceptual foundation. It examines Francis T. Cullen's initial statement of the theory, explains how social support is related to crime across the life course, and reviews the current empirical status of social support theory. The article concludes by emphasizing how criminologists and policymakers can use the concept of social support in their efforts to understand criminal behavior.
Matthew D. Makarios is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Tara Livelsberger is a doctoral student in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati.
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