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

Inflammation in the womb may explain why some babies are more prone to sepsis after birth

October 9, 2018
Each year 15 million infants are born preterm and face high risks of short- and long-term complications, including sepsis, severe inflammation of the gut, and neurodevelopmental disorders. A new report in the American Journal ...

Dummies not to blame for common speech disorder in kids

October 9, 2018
New University of Sydney research shows bottles, dummies, and thumb sucking in the early years of life do not cause or worsen phonological impairment, the most common type of speech disorder in children.

'Genes are not destiny' when it comes to weight

October 9, 2018
A healthy home environment could help offset children's genetic susceptibilities to obesity, according to new research led by UCL.

Old drug could have new use helping sick premature babies

October 8, 2018
Researchers from The University of Western Australia, King Edward Memorial Hospital and Curtin University are investigating whether an old drug could be used to help very sick premature babies.

Insufficient sleep associated with risky behavior in teens

October 1, 2018
Adolescents require 8-10 hours of sleep at night for optimal health, according to sleep experts, yet more than 70 percent of high school students get less than that. Previous studies have demonstrated that insufficient sleep ...

Checked off 'the talk' with your teen? Not so fast: Once isn't enough

October 1, 2018
Patting yourself on the back for gritting through "the talk" with your kid? Not so fast: new research from Brigham Young University family life professor Laura Padilla-Walker suggests that when it comes to your teens, one ...

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.