Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Delinquent Behavior Among Boys 'Contagious,' Study Finds

Date:
July 17, 2009
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
Impulsive boys with inadequate supervision, poor families and deviant friends are more likely to commit criminal acts that land them in juvenile court, according to a new study. The most surprising finding from the 20-year study was how help provided by the juvenile justice system substantially increased the risk of the boys engaging in criminal activities during early adulthood.

The most surprising finding from the 20-year study was how help provided by the juvenile justice system substantially increased the risk of the boys engaging in criminal activities during early adulthood.
Credit: iStockphoto/Jani Bryson

Impulsive boys with inadequate supervision, poor families and deviant friends are more likely to commit criminal acts that land them in juvenile court, according to a new study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. The most surprising finding from the 20-year study, conducted by researchers from the Université de Montréal and University of Genoa, was how help provided by the juvenile justice system substantially increased the risk of the boys engaging in criminal activities during early adulthood.

Related Articles


"For boys who had been through the juvenile justice system, compared to boys with similar histories without judicial involvement, the odds of adult judicial interventions increased almost seven-fold," says study co-author Richard E. Tremblay, a professor of psychology, pediatrics and psychiatry at the Université de Montréal and a researcher at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center.

The research team sought out boys from kindergarten who were at risk for delinquent behavior and who were enrolled at 53 schools from the poorest neighbourhoods in Montreal. Some 779 participants were interviewed annually from the age of 10 until 17 years. By their mid-20s, some 17.6 percent of participants ended up with adult criminal records for infractions that included homicide (17.9 percent); arson (31.2 percent); prostitution (25.5 percent); drug possession (16.4 percent) and impaired driving (8.8 percent).

"The more intense the help given by the juvenile justice system, the greater was its negative impact," Dr. Tremblay stresses. "Our findings take on even greater importance given that the juvenile justice system in the province of Quebec has the reputation of being among the best. Most countries spend considerable financial resources to fund programs and institutions that group deviant youths together in order to help them. The problem is that delinquent behavior is contagious, especially among adolescents. Putting deviant adolescents together creates a culture of deviance, which increases the likelihood of continued criminal behavior."

"Two solutions exist for this problem," adds Dr Tremblay. "The first is to implement prevention programs before adolescence when problem children are more responsive. The second is to minimize the concentration of problem youths in juvenile justice programs, thereby reducing the risk of peer contagion."

This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec, the Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gatti et al. Latrogenic effect of juvenile justice. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.02057.x

Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Delinquent Behavior Among Boys 'Contagious,' Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090716113301.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2009, July 17). Delinquent Behavior Among Boys 'Contagious,' Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090716113301.htm
University of Montreal. "Delinquent Behavior Among Boys 'Contagious,' Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090716113301.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2015) — The use of complex tools has often been seen as a defining characteristic of humanity, but that notion is now in question. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) — Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) — Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) 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