Children who get in trouble with the law early in life do not necessarily become lifelong criminals, according to the Marburg Child Delinquency Study. Researchers in child and adolescent psychiatry in Marburg, Germany followed 263 people who were arrested for crimes before they turned 14. They found “Offenses committed in childhood, whether known to the police or not, had no effect on the later (chronic) course of delinquency.”
Some of the indicators for a life of crime were the same as those for mental illness. Plus they cited three risk factors specific to criminal behavior in later life: Boys, very aggressive behavior early on, and explosure to the negative influence of delinquent peers. Read the full Marburg Study here.