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Corporal Punishment of Children in Theoretical Perspective$
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Michael Donnelly and Murray Straus

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300085471

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300085471.001.0001

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Punishment of Children from the Perspective of Control Theory

Punishment of Children from the Perspective of Control Theory

Chapter:
(p.214) 15 Punishment of Children from the Perspective of Control Theory
Source:
Corporal Punishment of Children in Theoretical Perspective
Author(s):
Travis Hirschi, Michael R. Gottfredson
Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300085471.003.0015

This chapter explains control theory and how it assumes the capability of individuals to commit delinquent and criminal acts without benefit of example, training, or rewards over and above those inherent in the acts themselves. This assumption distinguishes control theory from other psychological and sociological theories. In control theory, criminal behavior is likely whenever its advantages outweigh immediate and long-term risks, as perceived by the individual. Given the natural ability of individuals to see the immediate advantages of delinquent and criminal acts, the task for society is to persuade them that such acts are not in their long-term interests. Given the natural ability of individuals to see the immediate advantages of crime, society should not be unduly concerned with protecting them from exposure to such information.

Keywords:   control theory, criminal acts, criminal behavior, long-term risks, long-term interests

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