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Criminals in the Making

Criminals in the Making
Criminality Across the Life Course

Second Edition

February 2014 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Why do individuals exposed to the same environment turn out so differently, with some engaging in crime and others abiding by societal rules and norms? Why are males involved in violent crime more often than females? And why do the precursors of serious pathological behavior typically emerge in childhood? This fascinating text addresses key questions surrounding criminal propensity by discussing studies of the life-course perspective—criminological research that links biological factors associated with criminality with the social and environmental agents thought to cause, facilitate, or otherwise influence a tendency towards criminal activity. The book provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary coverage of the current thinking in the field about criminal behavior over the course of a lifetime. Additionally, it highlights interventions proven effective and illustrates how the life-course perspective has contributed to a greater understanding of the causes of crime.

Chapter 1. Life Course Criminology
Chapter 2. The Stability of Criminal and Analogous Behaviors
Chapter 3. Continuity in Antisocial Potential
Chapter 4. Genetics and Crime
Chapter 5. Introduction to Brain Structure and Basic Functions—Part I: The Hindbrain, Midbrain, and Limbic Structures In the Development of Criminality
Chapter 6. Introduction to Brain Structure and Basic Functions—Part II: Forebrain Formations, Trauma, and Criminal Behavior
Chapter 7. Concepts and Issues in Neuropsychological Functioning
Chapter 8. Sex Differences in Brain Processes and Laterality
Chapter 9. Special Topics in the Life Course: Psychopathy, Early Onset, and Drug Influences on Criminality
Chapter 10. Individuals and Their Social World
Chapter 11. Families and Crime
Chapter 12. Prepubescence: Infancy and Childhood
Chapter 13. Postpubescence: Adolescence and Adulthood
Chapter 14. Policy Recommendations

This book has some very interesting theories which are well presented. The variety of issues covered enable this text to be useful with Equality and Diversity units as well as sociology.

Miss Alison Clair Barry
Vocational Education , Newcastle-under-Lyme College
September 1, 2016

A very interesting text, which offers an up to date analysis of biological perspectives on criminality It will assist learners who wish to explore this specific area in greater depth for their assignments. There are certainly aspects I will be incorporating into the Youth Justice module providing a contrast to the sociological explanations of youth crime.

Miss Jacky Foster
Camborne College, Cornwall College
June 10, 2015

A fascinating read, but very skewed towards a biological reading of criminality

Mr Armin Luthi
Fac of Health & Social Care Sciences, Kingston University
May 29, 2015

A very well organised, up to date book on the explanations of crime

Dr Maria Ioannou
School of Human and Health Sciences, Huddersfield University
January 2, 2015

Another text for students to extend their additional reading to support their assignment work.

Mr Jon Dennis
Public Services & Sport, Easton College
December 4, 2014

This will add to the material already delivered in a supportive way as it brings more in depth, modern studies of the traditional explanations of crime.

Ms Allison Savory
Department of Social Sciences, Bucks New University
July 10, 2014

Did not fit my purposes for a sociological perspective

Professor Donna King
Sociology Anthropology Dept, University Of Central Florida
June 21, 2014
Key features


  • A new chapter on "Age of Onset" of criminal careers examines its association with the first stage of criminal behavior.
  • A new chapter on the Family-Crime link explores the association between families, parenting, and criminal behavior.
  • Current research on psychopaths includes recent findings on brain structure and functional differences.
  • Major research developments in this fast-moving field are integrated throughout.
  • A closer examination of the desistance process has been added.
  • New coverage on the influence of drugs/substances on brain activity and decision making has been added.


  • Research on both life-course and biological and genetic factors in crime behavior/propensity is integrated with discussions of cutting-edge research to expand and update the discussion found in the First Edition.
  • Boxes featuring "Stanley," a life-course persistent thief, appear in each chapter to vividly illustrate most of the various developmental stages important to understanding contemporary life-course theories of criminality.
  • A visually compelling illustration program contains diagrams of the brain and nervous system, photos, etc. to aid students' understanding of the biological content.
  • Special interest boxes cover topics such as the influence of lead on brain development and the limitations of parental influences.
  • Policy recommendations and initiatives for the prevention of crime are discussed in the concluding chapter to spark classroom discussion and guide future student research.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 6

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