Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss how developmental or life-course theories differ from other theoretical perspectives presented in this book.
  2. Explain how various concepts or factors that are important in life-course/developmental perspectives, such as onset, frequency of offenses, duration of offending, seriousness of the offenses, and desistance of offending play key roles in when individuals offend and why they do so at certain times in their lives.
  3. Identify some of the primary criticisms or weaknesses of the life-course/developmental perspective as well as which theories are clearly “antidevelopmental.”
  4. Identify which specific theories in the developmental/life-course genre seem best to account for specific transitions or trajectories either toward or away from crime.
  5. Describe the theories that account for different types of offenders, such as chronic or habitual offenders versus individuals who offend only during certain times in their lives.
  6. Summarize some of the key policy implications of developmental/life-course theories.