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J Abnorm Psychol. 2000 Nov;109(4):563-74.

The interaction between impulsivity and neighborhood context on offending: the effects of impulsivity are stronger in poorer neighborhoods.

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Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, 115 Kastle Hall, Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0044, USA.


This research blends 2 traditions of theorizing on the causes of crime, one focused on the role of individual differences and the other focused on structural and contextual variables. Two related studies examined the relations among impulsivity, neighborhood context, and juvenile offending. The first, cross-sectional study uses a large sample of 13-year-old inner-city boys, whereas the second, longitudinal study offers a conceptual replication using 17-year-old inner-city boys who are a subset of the original sample. Across both studies, results indicate that the effects of impulsivity on juvenile offending are stronger in poorer neighborhoods. Furthermore, nonimpulsive boys in poor neighborhoods were at no greater risk for delinquency than nonimpulsive boys in better-off neighborhoods.

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