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Terrie Moffitt

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Terrie Moffitt (1993) developed a dual taxonomy of offending behavior in an attempt to explain the developmental process that lead to the distinctive shape of the age crime curve. Moffitt's original statement of the theory is one of the more important articles in criminology with 2,792 citations. [1] She proposes that there are two main types of antisocial offenders in society. Adolescent Limited offenders exhibit antisocial behavior only during adolescence. Life-Course-Persistent offenders begin to behave antisocially early in childhood and continue this behavior into adulthood.[2] This theory is used with respect to antisocial behavior instead of crime due to the differing definitions of 'crime' among cultures. Due to similar characteristics and trajectories, this theory can be applied to both females and males.[3]


  1. - Citation count on September 19, 2012 for Moffitt, Terrie E., 1993, Adolescence-Limited and Life-Course Persistent Antisocial Behavior: A Developmental Taxonomy. Psychological Review 100:674-701.
  2. Martens, W. H. J. (2000). Antisocial and psychopathic personality disorders: Causes, course, and remission-a review article. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 44(4), 406-430.
  3. Moffitt, T. E., & Caspi, A. (2001). Childhood predictors differentiate life-course-persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial pathways among males and females. Development and Psychopathology, 13, 355-375.


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