Identifying Criminal Capacity in Children with Forensic Psychology

By David Canter, Ian Rankin

Part of Forensic Psychology For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Criminality can often be linked back to an offender’s childhood. A child who exhibits three or more of the following behaviours is at risk of becoming seriously anti-social as an adult:

  • Habitual lying

  • Cruelty to animals

  • Cruelty to people, especially vulnerable people

  • Breaking into buildings or cars

  • Destroying property, that of their own or others

  • Deliberate fire-setting

  • Running away from home overnight more than once

  • Stealing more than once

  • Frequent truancy