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Life Course Criminology: From Childhood Misbehavior to Adult Offending Sociology 425Section 1

Spring 2013 Dane Smith Hall 223 T, TR: 2-3:15 p.m.


Instructor: Office: Office Hours: Phone: E-mail: Lisa Broidy Social Sciences Building 1082 Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:30 p.m. (or by appointment) 277-2002 lbroidy@unm.edu

COURSE PREREQUISITES: I assume that all students enrolled in this course have already successfully completed Sociology 101 as well as Sociology 312 and/or 313. COURSE OBJECTIVES A number of important crime related phenomena are associated with age and development. At the aggregate level, communities with a relatively high percentage of young people exhibit higher crime rates than those with fewer young people. At the individual level, criminal behavior peaks in adolescence and slowly declines thereafter. Recent theoretical and empirical work in life course and developmental criminology seeks to make sense of these age related patterns. The goal of this course is to familiarize you with age-related crime patterns as well as current theoretical and empirical debates regarding how to best explain these patterns. In addition, as we work our way through the semester, we will pay attention to the policy implications of the theoretical and empirical work that focuses on crime through the life course. I. Age and CrimePatterns, Trends, and Theories: In this section we will outline aggregate and individual level age/crime trends. We will then discuss key theoretical explanations of these patterns and related debates. II. The Onset of Offending: Here we will examine the factors associated with the onset of offending. We will highlight the role of biology, family environment, and peers in childhood and adolescence. We will also examine the relation between childhood misbehavior and adolescent offending and the various forms offending takes as individuals move through adolescence. III. Patterns of Continuation and Desistance: This section of the course will focus on how interactions with important adult institutions (marriage/parenthood, employment, military service,) can foster desistance from offending or encourage continued involvement in offending. We will also examine the unique form of adult criminality in comparison to adolescent offending (i.e., white collar crime, intimate partner and family violence,).

REQUIRED READINGS: There is no textbook for this course. All required reading materials are available to you via WebCT. Specific readings for each class session are identified in your course calendar. You are responsible for keeping up with the readings. All lectures, discussions, assignments and exams will assume that you have read the assigned materials. EXAMS (600 points): There will be one mid-term exams (300 points each) and a final exam (300 points). Each of these exams will have short answer and essay questions, requiring you to integrate materials from readings, lectures, and class discussions. Exam dates are listed in your course calendar. If you are unable to make an exam, you must notify me in advance of the exam and provide a welldocumented justification for your absence. WRITING ASSIGNMENT (300 points): You will be responsible for completing one written assignments, worth 300 points. The due date for the assignment is noted in your course calendar. READING QUIZZES/ASIGNMENTS (100 points): I expect you to keep up with the required readings for this class. As an added incentive, we will have short reading quizzes throughout the semester. These quizzes will be worth 20 points each. We will have more than 5 quizzes throughout the semester, but I will count your best 5 towards your final grade. You cannot make-up missed quizzes. (Yes, this is a ploy to encourage you to come to class and to do your readings!). GRADING: Your grade will be based on a 1000-point scale broken down as follows: Exams: 600 points Writing Assignment: 300 points Quizzes: 100 points Your final letter grade will be based on the total number of points you earned throughout the semester according to the following scale: Points 1000 or better 999-930 929-900 899-880 879-830 829-800 799-780 779-730 729-700 699-600 Below 599 Grade A+ A AB+ B BC+ C CD F

POLICY ISSUES COURTESY: While I think the following goes without saying, best to put it on the table up front: Please arrive on time and stay until class ends. If you must arrive late or leave early, do so as unobtrusively as possible. While you are in class I expect all cell phones, PDAs, and any other electronic devices to be turned off. This means no texting during class! Laptops are allowed, but only as a note-taking platform (not to surf the web or IM with friends during class). I reserve the right to subtract points from your overall grade for violations of these courtesy policies. ATTENDANCE: Attendance is not required (i.e., I will not take roll every day), but it is strongly encouraged. There is no textbook for this course, the readings are designed to supplement lectures and facilitate class discussion. They will not serve as an adequate substitute for class attendance. You are responsible for all material covered in class whether or not you choose to attend. You are also responsible for staying apprised of any changes to the syllabus that are announced in class. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: CHEATING and PLAGIARISM are both unacceptable behaviors! Evidence of either of these behaviors will result in an automatic FAIL in the course and the matter will be turned over to university officials. So that there is no confusion: Plagiarism refers to using the work, ideas, or knowledge of other people as your own. It includes all forms of exam cheating, using other peoples work, and borrowing from published sources. This is an extremely serious violation of academic standards and values--please do not give me any reason to suspect you of this sort of dishonesty. SPECIAL NEEDS: Any student who, because of a disability, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make necessary accommodations. It is the responsibility of the student to request accommodation for individual learning needs. For further information, contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 277-3506.

Course Calendar Sociology 425


Week One (1/15 and 1/17) Introduction: Thinking About and Studying Crime Through the Life Course Elder article Week Two (1/22 and 1/24) Age and Crime: Patterns/Trends Thornberry pp. 1-5 & Hirschi and Gottfredson article Week Three (1/29 and 1/31) Explanations of the Age-Crime Relationship Moffitt article Week Four (2/5 and 2/7) Explanations of the Age-Crime Relationship (continued) Sampson and Laub article Week Five (2/12 and 2/14) OnsetThe Childhood Origins of Offending (biology and family) Jaffee et al. article Week Six (2/19 and 2/21) Offending from Childhood into Adolescence Agnew article Week Seven (2/26 and 2/28) Offending from Childhood into Adolescence Caspi et al. article Week Eight (3/5 and 3/7) 3/5: Exam Review 3/7: Exam Week Nine (Spring Break 3/12 and 3/14) NO CLASS Week Ten (3/19 and 3/21) Adolescent Delinquency: Sex, Drugs and Violence Mc Carthy and Casey article

Week Eleven (3/26 and 3/28) Adolescent Delinquency: Sex, Drugs and Violence Henry article De Lisi et al. article Week Twelve (4/2 and 4/4) Continuity and Desistancethe Transition to Adulthood Warr article Week Thirteen (4/9 and 4/11) Writing Assignment Due 4/9 Continuity and Desistancethe Transition to Adulthood Maruna article Week Fourteen (4/16 and 4/18) Continuity and DesistanceThe Transition to Adulthood Pager article Week Fifteen (4/23 and 4/25) Adult Offending: Spousal/partner Abuse and White Collar Crime Klein & Tobin article Piquero & Benson article Week Sixteen (4/30 and 5/2) 4/30 Review for final 5/2 NO CLASS Finals Week

5/7 (Tuesday): Final Exam 10 am-noon