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MOFFITT, T. E., LYNAM, D. R. and SILVA, P. A. (1994), NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL


TESTS PREDICTING PERSISTENT MALE DELINQUENCY*. Criminology, 32: 277300.

ONALD R. LYNAM University of Wisconsin-Madison PHIL A. SILVA University of Otago


Medical School, New Zealand
zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAThis article reports
the first longitudinal evidence that prospective measures of neuropsychological
status predict antisocial outcomes. We studied data for a birth cohort
zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAof several hundred
New Zealand males from age 13 to age 18. Age-13 neuropsychological scores
predicted later delinquency measured via multiple sources: police, courts, and
self-report. Poor neuropsychological scores were associated with early onset of
delinquency. The resultsfit our predictions about two trajecto- ries of delinquent
involvement: (1) Poor neuropsychological status predicted specifically male
offending that began before age 13 and per- sisted at high levels thereafrer. (2) By
contrast, in this sample neuro- psychological status was unrelated to
delinquency that began in adolescence. This article reports the first longitudinal
test of the relation between prospective measures of neuropsychological status
and subsequent antiso- cial outcomes. In 1985 we administered a brief
neuropsychological test battery to the members of a representative birth cohort
of 13-year-old New Zealanders. From those data we reported a modest but
significant cross-sectional relation between the childrens neuropsychological
func- tioning and their preadolescent delinquent behavior (Henry et al., 1992;
Moffitt and Henry, 1989; Moffitt and Silva, 1988a, 1988b). In this article we report
a test of whether individual differences in the age-13 neuro- psychological test
scores could predict participation in crime five years later, when the sample
reached the peak age for such participation. We