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Crime in the Making

Crime in the Making

Pathways and Turning Points through Life

Robert J. Sampson, John H. Laub

ISBN 9780674176058

Publication date: 03/15/1995

This new explanation of crime over the life course provides an important foundation for rethinking contemporary theory and criminal justice policy. It is based on the reanalysis of a classic set of data: Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency, Sheldon and Eleanor Gluecks’ mid-twentieth-century study of 500 delinquents and 500 nondelinquents from childhood to adulthood. Several years ago, Robert Sampson and John Laub dusted off sixty cartons of the Gleucks’ data that had been stored in the basement of the Harvard Law School. After a lengthy process of recoding and reanalyzing these data, they developed and tested a theory of informal social control that acknowledges the importance of childhood behavior but rejects the implication that adult social factors have little relevance.


  • Imaginative and forthright, a well-argued book with broad theoretical and methodological implications.

    —John Modell, American Journal of Sociology


  • Robert J. Sampson is Professor and Chair of Sociology at Harvard University.
  • John H. Laub is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland.

Book Details

  • 320 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press