Two Approaches to Developmental/Life-Course Theorizing

David P. Farrington and Rolf Loeber

in The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199747238
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Two Approaches to Developmental/Life-Course Theorizing

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  • Theories of Crime



This article describes two approaches to developmental and life-course criminology (DLC): the “Integrated Cognitive Antisocial Potential” theory developed by David Farrington and the developmental pathways conceptualization developed by Rolf Loeber. The first theory was designed to explain results obtained in the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, a prospective longitudinal survey of 411 London males ages 8 to 48–50. The second theory specifies the developmental nature of the delinquency outcomes that need to be explained by any theory, including the ICAP theory. DLC deals primarily with the development of offending and antisocial behavior from the womb to the tomb, the influence of risk and protective factors at different ages, and the effects of life events on the course of development. This article also reviews developmental pathways from minor externalizing antisocial behaviors to serious property crime, violence, and homicide.

Keywords: developmental and life-course criminology; Integrated Cognitive Antisocial Potential theory; David Farrington; developmental pathways conceptualization; Rolf Loeber; Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development; antisocial behavior; property crime; violence; homicide

Article.  11503 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Theories of Crime

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