Low self-control and fraud offending

Kristy Reisig, Michael Reisig, Travis C. Pratt, Kevin M. Beaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Purpose – The paper builds on and extends the existing research on self-control theory and fraud. Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether low self-control increases the odds of engaging in two common forms of fraudulent behaviors: check and credit card frauds. Design/methodology/approach – The paper addresses these issues using a national, longitudinal sample of young adults. Findings – The results of the multivariate logistic regression models indicate that individuals with lower levels of self-control are more likely to engage in credit card and check frauds. These findings support Gottfredson and Hirschi's theoretical argument that fraudulent behavior is similar to acts of force in that it too is explained by the same underlying trait – low self-control. Research limitations/implications – The paper underscores the importance of low self-control in the etiology of fraudulent behaviors. Future researchers should examine the relationship between low self-control and other fraudulent behaviors, particularly those occurring in the workplace (e.g. embezzlement). Practical implications – Suggestions for preventing credit card and check frauds through situational crime prevention are provided. Originality/value – The paper improves upon prior research by using a more representative sample and self-reported fraudulent behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-307
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Financial Crime
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 20 2010


  • Behaviour
  • Crimes
  • Fraud
  • United States of America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Law


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