1. Home
  2. Clusters
  3. Intergenerational transmission

Intergenerational transmission

This cluster has a strong research interest in studying criminal behaviour from an intergenerational perspective. This means that they explore to which extent, how, and why criminal behaviour is being transferred across generations. They focus on patterns of intergenerational continuity of (criminal) behaviour, but are also interested in intergenerational discontinuity – those cases in which behaviour is not being transferred across generations against all odds.

The cluster’s research programme is strongly inspired by the six – not mutually exclusive – mechanisms as described by Farrington (2002) that provide explanations for the intergenerational transmission of (criminal) behaviour. First, intergenerational continuities in the exposure to risk factors may lead to antisocial behaviour (e.g., poverty, poor parenting). Second, genetic factors may play a role. Third, shared familial antisocial features may explain why criminal behaviour transfers from one generation to another. Fourth, processes of assortative mating may underlie patterns of intergenerational transmission. Fifth, implicit and explicit social learning may play a role. And lastly, official bias from the police and judiciary may be responsible for intergenerational continuity in convictions.

Research topics

Research focuses on complex interacting mechanisms that underlie intergenerational transmission of criminal behaviour. Sometimes criminal behaviour can be seen as the cause of other factors that are being transferred across generations (e.g. the absence of a parent as a result of incarceration, poverty and other socioeconomic disadvantage, poor parenting or poor family relationships), and in other cases criminal behaviour can be seen as the consequence of intergenerational transmission of other factors (e.g. poverty and other socioeconomic disadvantages, harsh parenting, child abuse, or family aggression and violence).

Data sources

The cluster uses a variety of data (i.e. official record data, survey data and interview data) that they analyse using different techniques (i.e., quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method).

Coordinator: Veroni Eichelsheim

Experts on this theme

Dr Veroni Eichelsheim

Senior Researcher

Dr Dr Anja Dirkzwager

Senior Researcher

Prof. Arjan Blokland

Senior Researcher

Dr Steve van de Weijer

Researcher

Sjoukje van Deuren MSc

PhD Candidate

Dr Barbora Holá LLM

Senior Researcher

Dr Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard

Senior Researcher

Prof. Frank Weerman

Senior Researcher

Dr Elanie Rodermond

Researcher

Prof. Catrien Bijleveld LL.M.

Senior Researcher

Meintje van Dijk MSc

PhD Candidate

Janique Kroese MSc

PhD Candidate

Fellows

(Inter)national collaborations

Intergenerational transmission: Recent news