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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 11, 2006

Alfred R. D’Anca
Pages 9-29

Family and Self-Control: Evaluating Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime in the Context of Catholic Social Teaching

A paucity of studies address deeper dimensions of the influence of the family on crime. In A General Theory of Crime (1990), Hirschi and Gottfredson emphasize the significance of effective parenting in the development of high levels of self-control and less likely criminal involvement based on their view of human nature. The values-based social teachings of the Catholic Church that emphasize central themes of human and personal dignity, the common good, and communion of persons in the family and society, provide a basis to contribute to and develop the empirical significance of the family experience and parenting in the development of self-control, and establish a more validating basis for criminal justice policy.

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