Crime and Family

Selected Essays of Joan McCord

Joan McCord
Book Cover

PB: $33.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-558-5
Publication: Apr 07

HC: $85.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-557-8
Publication: Apr 07

Ebook: $33.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-559-2
Publication: Apr 07

320 pages
6 x 9
88 tables, 15 figs.

Seminal essays by a pioneering criminologist, collected for the first time

Read the Foreword (pdf).


Joan McCord (1930-2004) was one of the most-respected, and best-loved criminologists of her generation. A brilliant pioneer, Dr. McCord was best known for her work on the Cambridge-Somerville Youth Study, the first large-scale, longitudinal experimental study in the field of criminology. The study was among the first to demonstrate unintended harmful effects of a well-meaning prevention program. Dr. McCord's most important essays from this groundbreaking research project are among those included in this volume.

McCord also co-wrote, edited, or co-edited twelve volumes and authored or co-authored 127 journal articles and book chapters. She wrote across a broad array of subjects, including delinquency, alcoholism, violence, crime prevention, and criminal theory. This book brings her most important and lasting work together in one place for the first time.


"This volume is a must-have book for anyone who cares about preventing crime and avoiding harmful programs. The book offers McCord's classic evidence that good intentions can produce disastrous results and that crime prevention should be evaluated no less rigorously than a new and powerful drug."
Lawrence Sherman, Director, Jerry Lee Center for Criminology, University of Pennsylvania

“(McCord) clearly was a researcher of unbounded energy whose life’s work has added greatly to the corpus of criminological knowledge. This book is an excellent collection of that work. The methodology of her research in the developmental study of crime is both classically rigorous and strikingly inventive.”
The Law and Politics Book Review

“The essays are mostly based on topics close to Joan’s heart: the effects of intervention; the effect of child rearing; punishment and discipline; crime in the family; alcoholism and drunk driving. The book closes with a truly inspiring autobiography and a list of all of her publications.”
Contemporary Sociology

Table of Contents

Introduction by DAVID P. FARRINGTON 1

PART ONE: The Effects of Intervention

CHAPTER 1 - A Thirty-Year Follow-up of Treatment Effects 13
CHAPTER 2 - Consideration of Some Effects of a Counseling Program 22
CHAPTER 3 - The Cambridge-Somerville Study: A Pioneering Longitudinal-Experimental Study of Delinquency Prevention 32
CHAPTER 4 - Cures That Harm: Unanticipated Outcomes of Crime Prevention Programs 41

PART TWO: The Effects of Child Rearing

CHAPTER 5- Some Child-Rearing Antecedents of Criminal Behavior in Adult Men 57
CHAPTER 6 - A Longitudinal View of the Relationship Between Paternal Absence and Crime 70
CHAPTER 7 - A Forty Year Perspective on Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect 85
CHAPTER 8 - Family Relationships, Juvenile Delinquency, and Adult Criminality 92

PART THREE: Punishment and Discipline

CHAPTER 9 - Questioning the Value of Punishment 111
CHAPTER 10 - Deterrence and the Light Touch of the Law 126
CHAPTER 11 - On Discipline 138
CHAPTER 12 - Discipline and the Use of Sanctions 144

PART FOUR: Crime in the Family

CHAPTER 13 - Patterns of Deviance 155
CHAPTER 14 - The Cycle of Crime and Socialization Practices 162
CHAPTER 15 - Family Socialization and Antisocial Behavior: Searching for Causal Relationships in Longitudinal Research 177
CHAPTER 16 - Family as Crucible for Violence: Comment on 188 Gorman-Smith et al. (1996)

PART FIVE: Alcoholism and Drunk Driving

CHAPTER 17 - Drunken Drivers in Longitudinal Perspective 199
CHAPTER 18 - Alcoholism and Crime Across Generations 206
CHAPTER 19 - Identifying Developmental Paradigms Leading to Alcoholism 217
CHAPTER 20 - Another Time, Another Drug 227

PART SIX: Miscellany

CHAPTER 21 - Competence in Long-Term Perspective 243
CHAPTER 22 - Understanding Motivations: Considering Altruism and Aggression 256
CHAPTER 23 - Ethnicity, Acculturation, and Opportunities: A Study of Two Generations 270
CHAPTER 24 - Learning How to Learn and its Sequelae 281
Joan McCord’s Publications 293
Index 303

About the Author(s)

Joan McCord (1930-2004) was Professor, Department of Criminology, Temple University and Senior Fellow in the Jerry Lee Center for Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania. She was the Past President of the American Society of Criminology and was awarded the Edwin H. Sutherland Award for Outstanding Contributions to Criminology and the Prix Emile Durkheim for her work in Criminology. Among her many books, she edited Coercion and Punishment in Long-Term Perspectives, Facts, Frameworks, and Forecasts, and Beyond Empiricism and coauthored The Psychopath and Psychopathy and Delinquency.