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.

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The authors found that being nervous and withdrawn shielded boys against committing criminal acts during adolescence, but, after the age of 21, it no longer held them back.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 October 1, 2014 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 October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 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