What Becomes of the Problem Child?

The Foundational Role of Temperament in Health and Juvenile Offending

Authored by: Matthew DeLisi

Routledge International Handbook of Delinquency and Health

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367256920
eBook ISBN: 9780429289194
Adobe ISBN:


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Consistent with DeLisi and Vaughn’s criminological temperament theory, numerous studies have shown the salience of effortful/self-control and negative emotional displays to serious behavioral problems and psychopathology. Although criminologists have recently provided support about temperamental associations with delinquency and related externalizing features, the health behaviors and health consequences stemming from these temperamental deficits have been mostly overlooked. The current chapter briefly reviews research on early-life temperamental problems that are consistent with DeLisi and Vaughn’s (2014) criminological model to understand the developmental sequencing of temperament-conduct problems, examines the interrelations between adolescent temperamental deficits, delinquency, and adverse health behaviors, and third offers research suggestions to more fully integrate considerations of health and health behaviors within criminological-temperament research.

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