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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of developmental-typological theories of criminal behavior best known by criminologists. These theories aim to explain heterogeneity in intra-individual change in criminal behavior across the life course by postulating developmental trajectories differing in terms of onset, variety and frequency of offending, criminal career duration, and period of desistance. The chapter outlines the most popular statistical methods for modeling developmental trajectories. It also summarizes the empirical findings from available developmental trajectory research. Overall, available longitudinal studies tend to support only some postulates of developmental-typological theories. This chapter thus proposes a number of directions for future research and provides some concluding insights.

Keywords: criminal behavior, life course, developmental-typological theories, intra-individual change, developmental trajectories, developmental trajectory research

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