Child Behavior Can Predict Adult Crime, UW Study Finds | KUOW News and Information

Child Behavior Can Predict Adult Crime, UW Study Finds

Aug 12, 2015

Problem behaviors can indicate whether abused children will likely commit crimes as adults.

But as KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld reports, new research from the University of Washington finds that the warning signs may be different between boys and girls.

Kids who tend to get into fights at recess or arguments in the classroom can raise red flags.

UW researchers did find that, among abused children, that kind of aggressive behavior is an indicator of possible criminal activity later in life.

But only for boys. For girls, the study found that depression and withdrawal were more likely to predict adult criminal behavior.

Researchers say that more subtle, so-called “internalizing” behavior hasn’t been looked at as much as “externalizing” behavior like fighting and disobedience.

The study was published this week in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.