Glossary / Lexicon
Social control theory
- Social control theory : Social control theory refers to a perspective which predicts that when social constraints on antisocial behavior are weakened or absent, delinquent behavior emerges. Rather than stressing causative factors in criminal behavior, control theory asks why people actually obey rules instead of breaking them. This theory stresses the idea that people in a society commit delinquent or criminal acts because of the weakness of the forces restraining them, not because of the strength of forces driving them to do so. It asserts that social controls, like arrest, imprisonment, loss of income, etc. increase the costs of violent behaviors.