The social control theories attempts to interpret the cause of crime as one of the three major sociological viewpoints in criminology. Social control theorist posits that submission to the laws of society is produced by socialization and the maintenance of an individual's interaction with institutions. An individual's relationship to friends, family, school and work makes them less susceptible to the temptations of committing criminal acts. In contrast, crime and delinquency becomes the outcome when a person's bond to society and institutions is weak. Social theorist such as, Walter Reckless, F. Ivan Nye and Travis Hirschi used different approaches to explain the result of social bonds in comparison to the effects that it may have on an individual's criminal capacity. Although each had different approach, each theorist attempted to complete the tasks of identifying the important elements of the bond to society. .
Walter Reckless focuses more directly on the social control and conveys that all individual have two types of containment that produce protection, defense, or insulation in regards to delinquent behavior. The thought of personal containment has been observed from both the individual and societal level at different age stages. In 1967, Reckless had created the theory to where he analyzes that their internal force that a juvenile could interact with, to avoid them from engaging in criminal behavior. If a child identifies themselves as being an obedient or good kid, then they would be less likely to commit criminal acts. On the contrary, if a child does not think of themselves as a good kid then they would be likely to engage in criminal behavior. Furthermore, children who identified themselves as good children also was surrounded by a strong social relationship with people they identified as authoritative figures such as parents and teachers. Reckless also inferred that even if a child may not a tough internal containment, they could be enhanced externally through educational institutions and/ or the community.