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Psychosom Med. 2010 Jan;72(1):46-52. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181bfd7d8. Epub 2009 Nov 20.

Mortality predictors in a 60-year follow-up of adolescent males: exploring delinquency, socioeconomic status, IQ, high-school drop-out status, and personality.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-0219, USA.



To examine whether socioeconomic status (SES), high school (HS) completion, IQ, and personality traits that predict delinquency in adolescence also could explain men's delinquency-related (Dq-r) mortality risk across the life span.


Through a 60-year Social Security Death Index (SSDI) follow-up of 1812 men from Hathaway's adolescent normative Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) sample, we examined mortality risk at various ages and at various levels of prior delinquency severity. We examined SES (using family rent level), HS completion, IQ, and MMPI indicators simultaneously as mortality predictors and tested for SES (rent level) interactions with IQ and personality.


We ascertained 418 decedents. Dq-r mortality peaked between ages 45 years to 64 years and continued through age 75 years, with high delinquency severity showing earlier and higher mortality risk. IQ and rent level failed to explain Dq-r mortality. HS completion robustly conferred mortality protection through ages 55 years and 75 years, explained IQ and rent level-related risk, but did not fully explain Dq-r risk. Dq-r MMPI scales, Psychopathic Deviate, and Social Introversion, respectively, predicted risk for and protection from mortality by age 75 years, explaining mortality risk otherwise attributable to delinquency. Wiggins' scales also explained Dq-r mortality risk, as Authority Conflict conferred risk for and Social Maladjustment and Hypomania conferred protection from mortality by age 75 years.


HS completion robustly predicts mortality by ages 55 years and 75 years. Dq-r personality traits predict mortality by age 75 years, accounting, in part, for Dq-r mortality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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