Birth Complications and the Development of Criminality: A Biosocial Perspective

Authored by: Stephen G. Tibbetts

The Ashgate Research Companion to Biosocial Theories of Crime

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409408437
eBook ISBN: 9781315612768
Adobe ISBN: 9781317044055


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This chapter will explore the various issues and empirical findings that involve the risk factors and descriptions of a variety of birth and delivery complications, as well as their consequent implications on disposing individuals to criminality. As with most of the other developmental factors covered in this book, birth complications are often a result of, as well as a cause of, a complex combination of both physiological and environmental risk factors. Notably, the issue of birth/delivery complications in the area of developmental theory is an archetype or “poster-child” of biosocial criminology, in the sense that what happens just prior, during and soon after the actual birth, in terms of both physical and social/developmental factors, has an immense impact on the future of a child’s risk for being disposed to crime in their future environment.

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