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Keywords:

  • criminal propensity;
  • social integration;
  • desistance;
  • life course

Theoretical debates and empirical tests on the explanation of stability and change in offending over time have been ongoing for over a decade pitting Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) criminal propensity model against Sampson and Laub's (1993) life-course model of informal social control. In 2001, Wright and his colleagues found evidence of a moderating relationship between criminal propensity, operationalized as self-control, and prosocial ties on crime, a relationship they term life-course interdependence. The current study extends their research by focusing on this moderating relationship and the developmental process of desistance from crime among serious juvenile delinquents. Contrary to the life-course interdependence hypothesis, the results indicate that whereas self-control and social bonds are strongly related to desistance from crime, there is no evidence of a moderating relationship between these two factors on desistance among this sample. The implications of this research for life-course theories of crime, future research, and policies regarding desistance are discussed.