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J Abnorm Psychol. 1990 May;99(2):198-201.

Is there an association between lateral preference and delinquent behavior?

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Results of recent research suggests an association between left lateral preference and delinquent behavior. In this study the lateral preferences of 881 seven-year-old children were determined using behavioral indicators of hand and foot use. Mixed-handedness was associated with parent-reported problem behavior scores and self-reported delinquency scores at ages 13 and 15. However, preference for left hand and foot use was found to be unrelated to the delinquency measures. The distribution of lateral preferences in an identified delinquent group was not significantly different from the distribution in the sample remainder. The lack of an association between left preference and delinquency may be accounted for by an increased cultural acceptance of individual preference.

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