Travis Hirschi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Travis Hirschi
Travis Hirschi.jpg
BornApril 31, 1935
DiedJanuary 2, 2017(2017-01-02) (aged 81)
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.)
Known forSocial control theory
Scientific career
FieldsSociology, criminology

Travis Warner Hirschi (April 15, 1935 – January 2, 2017) was an American sociologist and an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Arizona. He helped to develop the modern version of the social control theory of crime and later the self-control theory of crime.


Hirschi was born in Rockville, Utah. He attended the University of Utah in the 1950s, where he obtained undergraduate and master's degrees.[1] In 1955, Hirschi married Anna Yergensen.[2] He spent two years as a U.S. Army data analyst.[3] He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968.[1]

In his 1969 work Causes of Delinquency, Hirschi posited his version of social control theory. He wrote that social bonds encouraged conforming behavior and prevented most people from committing crimes.[4] In 1977, he and Michael Hindelang published a study which showed that IQ and social class were equally predictive of crime; IQ had been previously discounted as a correlate of criminal behavior.[5] A 1983 paper in the American Journal of Sociology by Hirschi and Michael R. Gottfredson showed that younger age was associated with increased criminal activity independent of any other known factor.[5] In 1990, Hirschi and Gottfredson wrote that lack of self-control, which was tied to parenting issues, was the cause of crime.[6]

Hirschi held faculty appointments at the University of Washington, the University of California, Davis, SUNY Albany and the University of Arizona.[5] He was a fellow and past president of the American Society of Criminology.[7][8] The organization also honored him with its highest distinction, the Edwin H. Sutherland Award.[5] In 2016 Hirschi won the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.[9] He died in January 2017 at the age of 81.[10]


  1. ^ a b McShane, Marilyn D.; Williams, Frank P. (December 18, 2002). Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice. SAGE Publications. p. 201. ISBN 978-1-4522-6527-8. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  2. ^ Cullen, Francis T.; Jonson, Cheryl Lero; Myer, Andrew J.; Freda Adler (January 2011). The Origins of American Criminology. Transaction Publishers. p. 325. ISBN 978-1-4128-1467-6. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  3. ^ Hope, Trina (2013). "Oxford Index: Travis Hirschi". Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0107. Retrieved April 18, 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Siegel, Larry (January 2, 2008). Criminology. Cengage Learning. pp. 210–211. ISBN 978-0-495-39102-9. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Schreck, Christopher J. (2014). "Hirschi, Travis". The Encyclopedia of Theoretical Criminology: Travis Hirschi. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 1–3. doi:10.1002/9781118517390.wbetc133. ISBN 9781118517390.
  6. ^ "Oxford Index: The General Theory: Self-Control". Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  7. ^ "ASC Presidents". American Society of Criminology. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  8. ^ "ASC Fellows". American Society of Criminology. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  9. ^ "Criminology Prize Winners 2016 Announcement". Stockholm University. Retrieved July 20, 2016.

External links[edit]