Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Criminal Offenders: Childhood Anxiety May Delay Onset Of Criminal Behavior Until After Age 21

Date:
November 4, 2008
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
A new study examines whether certain childhood traits in boys delay criminal behavior until after the age of 21.

Being nervous, socially isolated, anxious or neurotic during childhood protects young men from becoming criminal offenders until they enter adulthood, but the protective effect seems to wear off after the age of 21.

Related Articles


These are the findings of Dr. Georgia Zara, from the University of Turin in Italy, and Dr. David Farrington, from the University of Cambridge in the UK, who explored whether or not certain childhood factors delay the onset of criminal behavior until adulthood.

Zara and Farrington followed a total of 400 males in London, who took part in The Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, between the ages of 8 to 10 and 48 to 50. Participants were split into three groups: 35 late onset criminals first convicted at 21 years old or older with no overt signs of delinquency at ages 10 to 14 and 15 to 18; 129 early offenders first convicted between the ages of 10 and 20 years old; and 236 law-abiding men.

The authors found that being nervous and withdrawn shielded boys against committing criminal acts during adolescence, but, after the age of 21, it no longer held them back. Compared with early onset offenders, late onset criminals were more nervous, had fewer friends from ages 8 to 10, and were less likely to have had sexual intercourse by the age of 18. Compared with nonoffenders, those who turned to crime later in life were more anxious at school from ages 12 to14 and very neurotic by age 16.

The results of this study show that adult offending can be predicted from childhood and may shed light on early psychological and temperamental traits likely to play a role in delaying criminal behavior until adulthood. The findings provide insight into how children with these characteristics may find themselves in high-risk situations later in their lives, being unprepared to cope with the pressures and difficulties of adult life.

The authors suggest that tackling the issues involved in delayed criminal behavior early is key: “Given that diverse strongest predictors of adult criminality in this study can be addressed (e.g., nervousness), kept under control (e.g., anxiety), or modified (e.g., not having had sexual intercourse), they imply possible targets for successful intervention. Hence, there is enormous scope for significant cost savings, both economically and in the quality of life, from early intervention policies.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zara et al. Childhood and Adolescent Predictors of Late Onset Criminal Careers. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, November 2008; DOI: 10.1007/s10964-008-9350-3

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Criminal Offenders: Childhood Anxiety May Delay Onset Of Criminal Behavior Until After Age 21." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103121317.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2008, November 4). Criminal Offenders: Childhood Anxiety May Delay Onset Of Criminal Behavior Until After Age 21. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103121317.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Criminal Offenders: Childhood Anxiety May Delay Onset Of Criminal Behavior Until After Age 21." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081103121317.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins