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The University of Southampton
Institute of Criminal Justice Research

Poverty is the mother of crime? Links between socioeconomic status and antisocial behaviour in young people Event

17 March 2016
Building 44, Room 3031/33 University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Sue McNally on 02380 595150 or email .

Event details

A number of psychological theories and approaches to policy assume that lower family socio-economic status (SES) causes antisocial behaviour in children. The relevant evidence base will be examined in this talk. A systematic review of the literature identified 139 independent estimates of the cross-sectional relationship between SES and antisocial behaviour. Meta-analysis estimated the overall relationship at r = -.10 (95% Confidence Interval: -.08, -.12) and identified reporter of antisocial behaviour as an important moderator of the relationship. The relationship was stronger with parent and teacher reporters than with child reporters. The current state of knowledge on the mechanisms that might underlie this association is reviewed. Current evidence that low SES may have a causal effect, and the factors that might mediate such an effect are considered. These include family investment, family stress, and broader social status. Whether the effect of low SES varies according to neighbourhood characteristics (e.g., relative poverty), developmental stage and other psychosocial characteristics are also discussed.

Speaker information

Dr Richard Rowe ,The University of Sheffield ,For more information please see

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