ERIC Number: ED328818
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Childhood Psychopathology as a Predictor of Violent Criminal Behavior.
Brennan, Patricia A.; Mednick, Sarnoff A.
Hyperactive children appear to be at an increased risk for antisocial behavior in life. Follow-up studies using self-report and official criminal data have found that hyperactive children are more likely than controls to commit crimes, to be arrested for crimes, to be convicted of crimes, and to be diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder in their adolescent and adult years. This study examined the relationship between childhood hyperactivity and adult violent criminal behavior utilizing prospective, longitudinal data from a Danish birth cohort of 129 males. Hyperactivity was measured by teacher, parent and neurologist ratings of behavior completed when the subjects were 11-13 years old. Police records of violent criminal behavior were ascertained when the subjects were 20-22 years old. The results supported the view that hyperactivity in childhood predicts an increased risk of violent offending later in life. Subjects who were pervasively hyperactive (rated hyperactive by teacher, neurologist, and parent report) seemed especially prone to violent behavior, with over one-third showing a criminal arrest for violence by early adulthood. Previous research findings, taken together with the results of this study, suggest that very early central nervous system dysfunction may predispose individuals to hyperactive behavior, and that this behavior in turn may increase the likelihood that they will develop into adult violent offenders. (ABL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).