Predicting adult violent delinquency: Gender differences regarding the role of childhood behaviour

Joni Reef, AG (Andrea) Donker, Inge Meurs, Frank Verhulst, Jan van der Ende

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Adult violent delinquency harms individuals, their families and society at large. Knowledge about childhood predictors of adult delinquency could be helpful in defining at-risk children who will develop into violent adults. This topic is rarely investigated in females. We investigated which behavioural problems in childhood predicted long-term disruptive development in a sample of both males and females. In 1983, behaviour problems were assessed in a community sample of 2076 children; 24 years later, 1335 of these children, who are now adults, reported on their violent delinquency. Girls with conduct problems were at risk of long-term disruptive development. We recommend that health professionals be alert regarding girls with conduct problems, because early identification and treatment of high-risk girls might reduce delinquency in adult life.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)187-197
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-04-55-01

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