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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a brief overview of developmental and life-course criminology. These approaches are concerned with the study of the development of offending over the course of one's life, from onset to persistence and, eventually, desistance. Although these two theoretical approaches share many common features, they have distinctive focal concerns. Stemming from the field of sociology, the life-course perspective focuses attention on social structure and life events. The developmental approach, on the other hand, stems from the field of psychology and generally emphasizes the role of individual and psychological factors in the explanation of developmental processes. Moreover, the developmental approach investigates the onset of offending as well as the role of early risk and protective factors in the explanation of future offending. Meanwhile, the life-course framework examines the influence of turning points in offending trajectories and in the process of desistance from crime.

Keywords: life-course criminology, developmental criminology, offending, sociology, psychology, crime

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