Weak association for blood lead levels, criminal behavior

December 27, 2017

(HealthDay)—Childhood blood lead level (BLL) is a poor discriminator between criminal conviction and no conviction, according to a study published online Dec. 26 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Amber L. Beckley, Ph.D., from Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined the correlation between BLL and the risk of , recidivism, conviction for violent offenses, and variety of self-reported criminal offending where BLL was not associated with low . Data were included for 553 individuals who had their blood tested for lead at age 11 years.

The researchers found that 27.8, 15.6, and 9.6 percent of participants had a criminal conviction, recidivated, and had a violent offense conviction, respectively. For self-reported offending, variety scores varied from 0 to 10 offense types at each assessment. Self-reported offending followed the established age-crime curve, with the mean variety of self-reported offending peaking at 4.24 at age 18 years. BLL had poor discriminatory ability for no conviction and conviction (area under the curve, 0.58). Weak associations were seen between BLL and conviction outcomes overall. The estimated effect of BLL was lower for recidivism than single convictions and for violent versus nonviolent offending. For only one of the six self-reported offending outcomes at age 15 years, sex-adjusted associations with BLL reached statistical significance.

"This study overcomes past limitations of studies of BLL and crime by studying the association in a place and time where the correlation was not confounded by childhood socioeconomic status," the authors write. "Findings failed to support a dose-response association between BLL and consequential criminal offending."

Explore further: No link between childhood lead levels, later criminality

More information: Abstract/Full Text
Editorial

Related Stories

No link between childhood lead levels, later criminality

December 27, 2017
(HealthDay)— Exposure to higher levels of lead during early childhood can affect neurological development—but does that mean affected kids are doomed to delinquency?

Self-harm linked to violence towards others

April 5, 2017
There is a link between self-harm and the risk of violent criminality, according to a Swedish registry study carried out by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and published in the scientific journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Parents' psychiatric disease linked to kids' risk of suicide attempt, violent offending

August 31, 2016
Risk for suicide attempts and violent offending by children appears to be associated with their parents' psychiatric disorders, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Recommended for you

Digital media use linked to behavioral problems in kids

July 17, 2018
Are children who spend lots of time using digital devices prone to psychiatric problems? A team of USC scientists says yes in a new study that appears today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Childhood abuse linked to greater risk of endometriosis, study finds

July 17, 2018
Endometriosis, a painful condition that affects one in 10 reproductive-age women in the U.S., has been linked to childhood physical and sexual abuse, according to findings published today in the journal Human Reproduction.

Opioids given too easily to children: study

July 16, 2018
(HealthDay)—Many children are prescribed powerful opioid painkillers they don't really need, putting them and those around them at risk, a new study shows.

Self-control and obesity: Gender matters in children

July 16, 2018
A toddler's self-regulation—the ability to change behavior in different social situations—may predict whether he or she will be obese come kindergarten, but the connection appears to be much different for girls than for ...

Footwear habits influence child and adolescent motor skill development

July 11, 2018
New research finds that children and adolescents who spend most of their time barefoot develop motor skills differently from those who habitually wear shoes. Published in Frontiers in Pediatrics, this is the first study to ...

Parents who had severe trauma, stresses in childhood more likely to have kids with behavioral health problems

July 9, 2018
A new study finds that severe childhood trauma and stresses early in parents' lives are linked to higher rates of behavioral health problems in their own children.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.