The focus of differential association theory is on the definitions of learnable behaviors that lawful or criminal. In associations, when the quantity of definitions that tend toward, or are favorable toward, deviance are in excess, while definitions tending away from and unfavorable toward law breaking, then that individual will become criminally deviant. Defintions must be in excess on the criminal tendency and in depletion on the prohibitive tendency.
the excess of definitions favorable to deviance over definitions unfavorable to violation of law enforces a person become a deviant while associating with other persons.(Southerland)