Sociology Index

Travis Warner Hirschi

Travis Warner Hirschi is among leading American sociologists and an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Arizona. Travis Warner Hirschi helped develop the modern version of the social control theory of crime and also the self-control theory of crime. Travis Warner Hirschi was born in Rockville, Utah.

In his 1969 work Causes of Delinquency, Travis Warner Hirschi posited his version of social control theory. Travis Warner Hirschi wrote that social bonds encouraged conforming behavior and prevented most people from committing crimes.

In 1990, Hirschi and Gottfredson wrote that lack of self-control, which was tied to parenting issues, was the cause of crime. 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.

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.

Travis Warner Hirschi attended the University of Utah where he obtained undergraduate and master's degrees. Travis Warner Hirschi received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

In Causes of Delinquency, Travis Warner Hirschi posited his version of social control theory. Travis Warner wrote that social bonds encouraged conforming behavior and prevented most people from committing crimes. Hirschi and Michael Hindelang published a study which showed that IQ and social class were equally predictive of crime.

Travis Warner Hirschi held positions at the University of Washington, the University of California, Davis, SUNY Albany and the University of Arizona. Travis Warner Hirschi was a fellow and past president of the American Society of Criminology. 

Travis Hirschi's Causes of Delinquency was an important contribution to deviant behavior research. A book about adolescents, about Americans and about America. A book for those who care about people.

In 1990 when Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi published A General Theory of Crime, now often referred to as self control theory, it quickly became among the most discussed and researched perspectives in criminology.