A Differential Association-Reinforcement Theory of Criminal Behavior

The 9 formal propositions in which sutherland expressed his revision of the differential association theory of criminal behavior are analyzed in terms of behavior theory and reformulated as 7 new propositions. This modification subsidiary is considered to the more urgent task of: (1) making explicit the learning process as now understood by modern behavioral science; (2) reformulating the theory in light of this current knowledge; and (3) making criminologists aware of the advances in learning theory and research that are relevant to an explanation of criminal behavior. It is emphasized that this is a restatement of the theory, not an alternative theory.

Publication Date

October 1966

Publication Name

Social Problems


Robert Burgess and Ronald Akers