To discuss further, the theory of Sampson and L pub supposes that the individual characteristics of a person are not the sole reason for his early delinquency and deviant behavior later in his life. There are social circumstances that may modify the behavior Of other persons while others proceeds with offending. There are three main components proposed in the age-graded life-course theory of Sampson and Lab. First, the delinquency in childhood and adolescence can be explained by their informal relation with their family as well as the environment they have at school.
These informal relations they build within their family and at school as well as the social controls coming from these two [family and school] intervene with the micro- level structural context of the children (Sampson & Lab, 1992). Second, in different realms of life, the antisocial behavior from childhood through adulthood continues. Lastly, the informal social attachments that individuals develop to their family and employment during adulthood explicate modifications in criminality over their life in spite Of their early childhood tendencies (Sampson & Lab, 1992).
The most crucial findings of Sampson and Lab is that the social attachments that individuals develop during adulthood increase some people’s social capital, thus leading them to discontinue from most types of aberrant behavior. The theory further discussed how deviant behavior of individuals mitigate as they build social bonds to their spouse or coworkers. People’s attachment to their spouse or coworkers increases their self-control that leads to their distance from committing offenses.
In the article of Sampson and Lab, they also discuss what trajectories, transitions, and turning points are. A trajectory, as explained in the article, is “a pathway or line of development over the life p such as workable, marriage, parenthood, self-esteem, and criminal behavior”‘ (Sampson & Lab, 1992, p. 66). In other words, trajectories are the “long-term patterns and sequences of behavior” (Sampson & Lab, 1992, p. 66).
Transitions, on the other hand, are the specific events in the life of a person. Good examples of transitions are first marriage or first job (Sampson & Lab, 1992). These transitions are implanted in trajectories. Transitions are the changes that are more or less sudden. The close causal connection of trajectories and transitions may create what is called a turning point. A turning point refers to a “change in the life course” (Sampson & Lab, 1992, p. 66).
It involves a certain experience, event, or awareness that leads to the change in the pathway or trajectory of a person over the long-term. According to Sampson and Lab, school, work, marriage, the military, and parenthood are examples of social institutions and triggering life experiences that may change trajectories (1992). The concepts of trajectory, transition and turning points re important in the study of crime because they help in understanding the dynamics of life course.
From the theories presented by Sampson and Lab, as well as by Cottonseeds and Hirsch, life course is a path, and the understanding of trajectories and turning points help us to give meaning to the different factors that intervene and disturb the path of a person’s life course that may lead him to developing deviant or criminal behaviors. Looking at the trajectories of a person, one can ascertain the different relationships that the person has developed throughout time, thus causing IM to becoming what he is in the present time.
Trajectories will help us determine the environment that a person has been into, thus leading him to develop characteristics and personalities he has presently. Transitions, on the other hand, help determine whether or not the timing between one event and the happening of another event is enough for a person to adjust This adjustment is important because lack of this may lead a person to develop deviant behaviors. Turning points, or changes in life trajectories, are very crucial in the study of crime because these are often what cause children, or managers, or even adults to exhibit or develop aberrant behaviors.
These turning points, such as divorce of parents, retirement, or death, if will not match the behavior of a person may lead to delinquent behaviors. While Sampson and Lab speak of individual’s characteristics, social circumstances, as well as social bonds in understanding the criminality of a person, Cottonseeds and Hirsch, in their “general theory of crime”, propose that the imprudence and criminality of a person can be anticipated merely by looking at the lack of self-control of a person (Sampson & Lab, 1992).
They et aside the possibility of the other life and social factors that may intercept in the development of deviant behavior of a person. Nonetheless, Cottonseeds and Hirsch admit that although the personality of a person, for example his lack of self-control, does not change through time, the connection between self-control and crime is susceptible to change. The concept of life-course perspective of Cottonseeds and Hirsch is inversely linked to the level of self-control of a person.
According to them, a person’s self-control is what shapes his agency in a manner that he tends to choose to e part of an environment that counterparts his level of self-control. The life course perspective of Sampson and L pub has been recognized by Cacao and Kennedy in explaining social control theory in general. Cacao and Kennedy agree that life course perspective is different from the other perspectives about social control and criminality because it acknowledges how different events or factors in the life course of people affect their progress at different times.
By reconciling two contradicting findings in the field of crime research, one finding proposes that adult criminality is strongly impacted by patterns of childhood behavior while the other finding puts forward that changes in the life of people impact their tendency of criminality, Sampson and Lab are able to provide an explanation as to whether or not the propensity to commit an offense changes or remains the same over the life course of people (Cacao & Kennedy, 2011).
Cacao and Kennedy further say that the principles laid in the life course perspective are important in understanding the different informal social control present or become present in the life course of an offender that lead to the modification of a arson’s criminal involvement (2011). Additionally, the life course approach is a useful tool in ascertaining how changes in crime pattern of people across their life course are being affected with the opportunities and circumstances that they face as they move forward in life.
In general, the life course perspective theory’ is related to the social control theory in general with respect to the person’s bond or attachment to society. Social control theory postulates that delinquent acts are often the result of people having a weak or broken bond to their society. This means that when people are less attached to others, they are more prone to deviating from social norms and standards. Since they no important relationships with other people, they really have nothing to lose, therefore, it becomes very easy for them to commit a crime.
The life course perspective of Sampson and Lab basically offers the same path of explaining how informal social relations can affect a person’s commitment to his society. They say that the attachment or bond that a person develop throughout life with his spouse or coworkers makes a person more committed to his society. He loses his motivation to deviate or to commit an offense because Of the social bond he has developed mainly due to her concern for his spouse or coworkers.