Childhood Temperament, Environmental Influences, and Pre-Adolescent Defiance: Continuity or Change in Anti-Social Behavior?

Jeffrey R. Maahs, University of Minnesota - Duluth

ABSTRACT
Continuity in antisoial behavior is one of the most consistent empirical findings in criminology. Most research in this area has focused on the relationship between prior and future crminal behavior, or between adolescent delinquency and adult offending. Recent theoretical and empirical statements, however, have sought to "push back" the etiology of delinquency into early to middle childhood. The present paper addresses the etiology of delinquency into early to middle childhood. The present paper addresses the issues of continuity and childhood precursors to delinquency by assessing the relationship between early childhood temperament, environmental influences, and pre-adolescent deviance. The sample is drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Child-Mother data set. The theoretical and policy implications of this research are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006