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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 09-06-13 16:55

Farrington et al


  • To document the start, duration & end of offending behaviour from childhood to adulthood in families


  • Prospective Longitudinal Study
  • Data gathered through interviews


  • At the age of 48, of 404 individuals searched in the criminal records, 161 had convictions
  • The number of offences and offenders peaked at 17
  • 93% admitted to commiting one type of offence at some stage in their lives


  • There are a number of different factors of criminal or antisocial behaviour
  • Farrington identifies possible social & biological factors that may influence crime producing a multi-causal theory that is sophisticated
  • More factors a child experiences the more likely they are to participate in unlawful activity
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Farrington et al - Risk Factors for Offending

  • Low intelligence & low school achievement
  • Rated as 'daring' by parents and peers
  • Hyperactive (ADHD), poor concentration, impulsive
  • Unpopular with peers
  • Below average height & weight
  • Nervous or ill mother, fathers with erratic job histories
  • Poor families,low standard housing, physical neglect by parents
  • Parents with convictions and delinquent older siblings
  • Poor parental child-rearing behaviour (harsh or erratic) - not consistent punishment, parental conflict
  • Poor parental supervision (lax in enforcing rules or under vigilant) - no boundaries
  • Broken homes or separation from parents
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Eight Principles of Differential Association

1. Criminal behaviour is learned

2. Criminal behaviour is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication

3. The principal part of the learning of criminal behaviour occurs within intimate personal groups

4. When criminal behaviour is learned, the learning includes techniques of committing crime, which are sometimes very complicated, sometimes simple & the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations & attitudes

5.The specific direction of motives & drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable

6. A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of the law

7. Differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority & intensity

8. The process of learning criminal behaviour by association with criminal & anti-criminal patterns involves all the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning

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  • To identify the key individual & environmental facors which foster or deter offending during adolescence


  • Cross sectional study
  • Nearly 2000 boys & girls, aged 14-15
  • A questionaire was asked at 13 Peterborough state schools
  • 339 (random sample) took part in interview study over 1 week
    • This gave a snapshot of the behaviour contexts of the young people


  • 45% of males & 31% of females sampled have commited at least one of the crimes
  • Approx. 10% of males and 4% of females had commited a serious crime
  • Offenders are often more victimised than non-offenders & violent offenders are more likely to be victims of violence
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