Much attention has been paid in both criminology and psychology to the importance of self-control in regulating individual's antisocial, delinquent or criminal behaviour. Many programs have also been introduced to improve self-control. But how well do they work?
Finding one's bearings in relation to a constantly growing body of research and drawing one's own conclusions is often difficult. This also applies to research on the effects produced by measures intended to combat crime. Systematic reviews are one means of helping people to pick their way through the jungle of research findings.
Systematic reviews combine a number of evaluations that are considered to satisfy a list of empirical criteria for measuring effects as reliably as possible. The results of these evaluations are then used to calculate and produce an overall picture of the effects that a given measure does and does not produce. Systematic reviews aim to systematically combine the results from a number of studies in order to produce a more reliable overview of the opportunities and limitations associated with a given crime prevention strategy.
The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå) has therefore initiated the publication of a series of systematic reviews, in the context of which internationally renowned researchers are commissioned to perform the studies on our behalf. In this study the authors have carried out a systematic review, including meta-analysis, of 34 high quality evaluations.
Alex R. Piquero is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, USA.
Wesley G. Jennings is an Assistant Professor of Justice Administration, University of Louisville, USA.
David P. Farrington is Professor of Psychological Criminology at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University, UK.
Authors: Alex R. Piquero, Wesley G. Jennings, David P. Farrington
Year of publication: 2009
Publication number: ISBN 978-91-86027-38-4