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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 204409 Find in a Library
Title: Childhood Behaviour as Related to Subsequent Drinking Offences and Violent Offending: A Prospective Study of 11- to 14-Year-Old Youths Into Their Fourth Decade
Journal: Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health  Volume:13  Issue:4  Dated:2003  Pages:294-309
Author(s): Jenny M. Eklund; Britt af Klinteberg
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study examined whether the components of childhood hyperactivity may be differentially associated with adult alcohol-related offenses and violent offending, as well as whether the relationship is invariably confounded by comorbid childhood behavioral problems.
Abstract: The study was part of the longitudinal research study entitled "Young Lawbreakers as Adults," which was started in 1956. The current study involved 192 young lawbreakers and 95 matched controls who lived in the Stockholm (Sweden) area from age 11-14 and were followed to age 35. "Hyperactive behavior" was defined as a combination of the two dichotomous variables of attention difficulties and motor restlessness. In addition to measuring hyperactivity in childhood, the study measured early criminality, drinking offenses (alone or in combination with a crime), and violent offending. The chi-squared method was used to analyze relationships among variables. The findings supported the hypothesis that aspects of childhood hyperactive behavior were significantly associated with later drinking offenses and violent offending. Further analyses found that attention difficulties constituted the component of hyperactivity that contributed most to the link with later alcoholic-beverage abuse and violent crime. When taking into account possible confounding variables, attention difficulties were related to subsequent violent offending among boys who manifested early criminality, independent of early aggressive behavior; however, early criminality, attention difficulties, and aggressive behavior often co-occurred in the same individual. Subsequent drinking offenses or violent offending appeared seven times more often among individuals with early behavioral problems compared with those who had no such problems. The study concludes that antisocial behaviors in adult life typically stem from childhood behavioral difficulties, and among young lawbreakers there is apparently a subgroup of boys with attention difficulties who commit violent crimes as adults, even in the absence of early aggressive behavior. 4 tables and 46 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile to adult criminal careers
Index Term(s): Alcohol-Related Offenses; Attention deficit disorder (ADD); Foreign criminal justice research; Longitudinal studies; Psychological influences on crime; Sweden; Violence causes; Violent offenders
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