U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Does Preschool Help Prevent Delinquency in Boys With a History of Perinatal Complications?

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 36 Issue: 2 Dated: May 1998 Pages: 245-267
L Pagani; R E Tremblay; F Vitaro; S Parent
Date Published
23 pages
The authors examined whether a preschool intervention program would moderate the effects of perinatal complications using a sample of boys from the most disadvantaged areas of Montreal, Canada.
Some boys experienced the preschool program and some did not, and this allowed the authors to test whether the program had any effects on risk for early adolescent delinquency given their perinatal histories. The research hypothesized that perinatal complications would place boys at significantly greater risk for antisocial behavior during adolescence, and that participation in a preventive preschool program might circumvent this risk. The preventive preschool program was offered to low-income children with the aim of promoting academic success. Independent of maternal sociodemographic characteristics, boys with a history of perinatal complications showed no greater risk of delinquency during early adolescence than their peers without a history of perinatal complications. Surprisingly, the preschool program had a beneficial effect on boys with no history of serious perinatal complications, and such boys were less at risk for delinquency. In the presence of a serious medical condition after birth, benefits of the preschool program decreased significantly to the point that it placed boys at risk. 60 references, 4 tables, and 1 figure