Low birth weight and the criminal career
Boonstoppel, Sarah Lizabeth
Laub, John H
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This thesis examines the relationship between low birth weight and crime over the life course. Recent research has explored low birth weight as a proxy measure for neuropsychological deficits that affect antisocial and delinquent behavior, but it is limited in scope with regard to the dimensions of the criminal career (e.g., onset, frequency, and persistence). This study uses data from the classic study of 500 delinquents and 500 nondelinquents and subsequent follow-ups conducted by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck to examine low birth weight and the criminal career. Derived from multiple sources, these data contain information on offending from unofficial and official records spanning childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. For this sample, low birth weight is not related to the dimensions of the criminal career examined here, nor is low birth weight related to offending in early adulthood. Implications for future research and policy are offered.