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Predictors of Female Criminality: Findings From the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort

NCJ Number
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Volume: 41 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2002 Pages: 854-859
Liisa Kemppainen M.D.; Jari Jokelainen M.Sc.; Matti Isohanni M.D.; Marjo-Riitta Jarvelin M.D.; Pirkko Rasanen M.D.
Mina K. Dulcan M.D.
Date Published
July 2002
6 pages
This article presents findings from a Northern Finland 1966 birth cohort that analyzed the putative associations between perinatal, maternal, and paternal risk factors and later criminality for female offspring.
Previous studies on predictors of criminality have been largely based on male study samples. The majority of associations with criminality in female studies have been linked with unmarried and teenage mothers. Over the past few decades, the percentage of female offending has increased giving way to the need for studies into the perinatal contribution to the etiology of female offending. This article presents findings from a study that was conducted to analyze the interrelationship between variables known to be predictive of later female criminality. Utilizing a Northern Finland 1966 birth cohort, study participants consisted of 5,056 females who were living in Finland at the age of 16 and whose information was available. Information on perinatal biological, psychosocial risks, and data from the National Crime Registers up to 32 years of age was collected and analyzed. A significant finding was that the strongest risk factor associated with female criminality proved to be the absence of the father in the original, childhood family. In addition, maternal smoking during pregnancy and being first-born doubled the risk for criminal offending of the daughter. Several study limitations were briefly presented and discussed. This study allowed for an investigation of preceding perinatal biological and psychosocial risk factors in predicting female criminal offending in adulthood. Future research needs to define the complex associations between prediction factors during pregnancy and the perinatal period and later antisocial problems of female offspring. References


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