Role-taking and recidivism: A test of differential social control theory

Fawn T. Ngo, Raymond Paternoster, James Curran, Doris Layton Mackenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To assess the generality of differential social control (DSC) theory, this study examines whether the core propositions of DSC could explain recidivism among a sample of adult offenders. Overall, the results do not lend support for DSC's ability to account for offenders' persistence in crime. Specifically, the results reveal that only two of the five measures of role-taking, antisocial attitudes and number of prior arrests, are consistent significant predictors of recidivism. The results also indicate that measures of role-commitment are not generally related to recidivism and as a consequence, the hypothesized mediating effects of role-taking on the relationship between role-commitment and recidivism by DSC are not supported. The results also show that with the exception of age, social location measures generally are not related to recidivism and thus, definite statements on the mediating effects of DSC's central concepts on this relationship could not be drawn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-697
Number of pages31
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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