ERIC Number: EJ951612
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
How Does Childhood Economic Disadvantage Lead to Crime?
Fergusson, David; Swain-Campbell, Nicola; Horwood, John
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v45 n5 p956-966 Jul 2004
Background: This study sought to examine the associations between indices of socio-economic deprivation in childhood and later involvement in crime. Method: Data were gathered as part of the Christchurch Health and Development Study. In this project a cohort of 1,265 children born in Christchurch in 1977 have been studied from birth to age 21 years. The measures collected included: self-reported property and violent crime (15-16, 17-18, and 20-21 years); officially recorded convictions for property/violent crime; measures of childhood socio-economic status; and a series of intervening factors, including parenting (use of physical punishment, maternal care, family change, parental attachment, parental offending), individual (conduct and attention problems), school (truancy, suspensions, examination performance, scholastic ability), and peer factors (affiliations with deviant and substance using peers). Results: The results suggest that childhood socio-economic disadvantage was associated with clear increases in rates of both self-reported crime and officially recorded convictions. However, using block recursive negative binomial regression models a range of parental, individual, school, and peer factors were found to intervene between socio-economic disadvantage and crime. Following introduction of these measures into the models, the association between socio-economic disadvantage and crime became both statistically and practically non-significant. Conclusions: This study suggests that the higher rates of crime found amongst young people from socio-economically disadvantaged families reflect a life course process in which adverse family, individual, school, and peer factors combine to increase individual susceptibility to crime.
Descriptors: Socioeconomic Status, Crime, Family Life, Economically Disadvantaged, At Risk Students, Punishment, Academic Ability, Correlation, Foreign Countries, Regression (Statistics), Attachment Behavior, Violence, Parenting Styles, Parent Child Relationship, Behavior Problems, Attention Deficit Disorders, Truancy, Law Enforcement, Individual Characteristics, Institutional Characteristics, Peer Influence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand