SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Siepel, C., & Eifler, S. (2010). Opportunities, rational choice, and self-control: On the interaction of person and situation in a general theory of crime. Crime & Delinquency, 56 (2), 167–197. Retrieved from

In this article, deviant action is analyzed on the basis of ideas derived from Gottfredson and Hirschi’s self-control theory. Presumedly, self-control in interaction with opportunities can explain deviant action. This assumption is elaborated using the concept of high- and low-cost situations from rational choice theory. From this point of view, the hypotheses are that self-control predicts deviant action in low-cost situations, whereas utility predicts deviant action in high-cost situations. Two test strategies are employed in an empirical examination of these hypotheses. A standardized questionnaire was presented to a sample of 494 German adults aged 18 to 80. The results of both test strategies show that the assumptions of an interaction effect between self-control and opportunities are fundamentally supported.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. According to the authors, what can explain deviant behavior?
  2. What methods did the authors use to test their research question?
  3. What were the overall results of the study?

Article 2: Bottrell, D., Armstrong, D., & France, A. (2010). Young people’s relations to crime: Pathways across ecologies. Youth Justice, 10(1), 56–72. Retrieved from

This article analyses young people’s accounts of their relations to crime, elucidating microecological factors emphasized in developmental criminological explanations of offending and how macroecological forces emphasized in critical criminology enter their lives. Interrelated victimization, witnessing crime, cultural and societal access routes and institutional interventions including criminalization constitute their relations to crime and are formative of life pathways that include offending. Young people’s accounts suggest the need to consider the effects of distal systems both in the construction of crime as a social problem and their constitutive effects in local ecologies and individual lives.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. How does this study extend our knowledge of adolescent-limited offending?
  2. What are the major conclusions?

Article 3: Kubiak, S. P., Kasiborski, N., & Schmittel, E. (2010). Assessing long-term outcomes of an intervention designed for pregnant incarcerated women. Research on Social Work Practice, 20(5), 528–535. Retrieved from

Objectives: Approximately 25% of women are pregnant or postpartum when they enter prison. This study assesses a system-level intervention that prevented the separation of mothers and infants at birth, allowing them to reside together in an alternative community setting. Method: Longitudinal analysis of several state-level administrative databases compares the intervention (n = 48) group to the ‘‘treatment as usual’’ group (n = 36), over a 10-year period. Results: Preliminary analyses reveal few between-group differences and illuminate the presence of informal caregivers that were outside the scope of our data. Conclusions: Although 70% of the children remain legally attached to their mothers, further study is required to account for data limitations and to determine whether time to negative events differed between groups.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. What was the research question for this study?
  2. What were the methods used in this study?
  3. What did the authors conclude from their findings?