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Childhood predictors differentiate life-course persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial pathways among males and females

  • TERRIE E. MOFFITT (a1) (a2) and AVSHALOM CASPI (a1) (a2)
    • Published online: 16 May 2001
Abstract

This article reports a comparison on childhood risk factors of males and females exhibiting childhood-onset and adolescent-onset antisocial behavior, using data from the Dunedin longitudinal study. Childhood-onset delinquents had childhoods of inadequate parenting, neurocognitive problems, and temperament and behavior problems, whereas adolescent-onset delinquents did not have these pathological backgrounds. Sex comparisons showed a male-to-female ratio of 10:1 for childhood-onset delinquency but a sex ratio of only 1.5:1 for adolescence-onset delinquency. Showing the same pattern as males, childhood-onset females had high-risk backgrounds but adolescent-onset females did not. These findings are consistent with core predictions from the taxonomic theory of life-course persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial behavior.

Copyright
Corresponding author
T. E. Moffitt, SGDP Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, 111 Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK; E-mail: t.moffitt@iop.kcl.ac.uk.
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Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
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