Delinquent kids don’t always take to crime

July 25th, 2010 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 25 (IANS) Children who fall foul of the law early in life don’t necessarily take to a life of crime later on.
This is one of the findings of the Marburg child delinquency study, reports the journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.

Helmut Remschmidt and Reinhard Walter of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, conducted the research.

Remschmidt and Walter obtained data concerning the life history, family circumstances, health, schooling, vocational training, and personality structure of 263 subjects aged 18 or older, says a Philipps University release.

The evaluation of the data revealed that juvenile delinquents fall into two categories: those who become chronic offenders into adulthood and those who are delinquent only in childhood and/or adolescence, but not in adulthood.

Three risk factors seem to be specific for criminality: male sex, early onset of aggressiveness, and the negative influence of delinquent peers.

Researchers investigated how often children who were registered by the police as having committed criminal offences before age 14 went on to commit further criminal offences in adulthood, or stayed off crime.

They also evaluated potential indicators for delinquent behaviour. A control group for the study consisted of those who had not had any contact with the police relating to criminal offences.

Information on the subjects’ further development with respect to the commission of crimes was obtained from their criminal records.

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