Do troubled kids become troubled adults?
- Posted by:
- Michael Grose
"Give me the boy until seven and I'll give you the man" is an old Jesuit saying.
There is a fair bit of truth to this according to the results of long-term study from the University of Otago in New Zealand.
The study found that child who show significant anti-social behaviour by the age of seven or eight are at risk of turning into violent adults or troubled adults.
One third of children who displayed anti-social behaviour as kids ended up in the prison system in their 20's compared to only 3% of children with few behaviour issues went on to have trouble with the law.
Similarly 20% of children with serious conduct problems went on to have drug dependencey problems compared to 5% of those without childhood behavioural problems. This group were also more likely to experience depression, anxiety and marry before the age of twenty.
Whilst not all children who experienced behavioural problems went on to be law-breakers, this study shows the importance of early intervention for troubled and difficult kids.
It's important to put strategies in place early in a child's life to avert troubles later on and prvent kids from having a bleak future.
If you are having difficulties with a child, that are outside the normal range of misbehaviours and occur in different settings that is best to seek some assistance or an assessment. Vsit your GP or local council for a list of service-providers is agood place to start.
This study also reminds us how important early childhood is in a person's development. As a nation Wwe need to put more resources into early parenting programs to assist parents manage children's difficult behaviours in the early years.
Once the cycle of difficult behaviour begins it tends to escalate as kids get older unless some interventions are put into place.
These issues are worse when there's family breakdown, high family mobility or poor parenting skills.
Subscribe to Michael's blog