Escaping the Family Tradition. A Multi-generation Study of Occupational Status and Criminal Behaviour


This paper investigates the intersection of two types of reproduction over generations: the transmission of offending and of occupational status. According to Farrington’s (2002) risk factor mechanism, the effect of parental offending on offspring offending should decrease when the intergenerational transmission of occupational status is taken into account. To test this mechanism, we use a longitudinal prospective multi-generation research design, containing data from the Netherlands on offending and occupational status during the twentieth century. Results show that a substantial part of the intergenerational association in offending is indeed mediated by risk factors such as low occupational status and, especially, low educational attainment.

The British Journal of Criminology, 51(5):856-874