Self-control, prison victimization, and prison infractions

Academic Article


  • Gottfredson and Hirschi's self-control theory has been the subject of much debate and empirical testing. Although the theory was developed originally as an explanation for criminal offending, researchers recently have examined whether low self-control may increase the risk of criminal victimization. This study assesses the effects of low self-control on victimization and offending among the incarcerated. We utilize structural equation models to test the impact of low self-control on prison victimization and prison infractions based on a study involving 208 recently paroled inmates from a Midwestern state. The results indicate that risk taking is a significant predictor of prison victimization and temper is a significant predictor of infractions. We conclude that self-control theory is a potential predictor of prison infractions and victimization and that personality traits seen as generally criminogenic in the free world may have particular situational ramifications in prison. © 2009 Georgia State University.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kerley KR; Hochstetler A; Copes H
  • Start Page

  • 553
  • End Page

  • 568
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 4