Poverty, not the 'teenage brain' account for high rates of teen crime

March 5, 2015
This graph shows the age-homicide rate curve by age group at six standard poverty brackets, with crude (light dashed) and polynomial regression(solid) trendlines, California, 1991 to 2012. Credit: SAGE Open

While many blame the "teenage brain" for high rates of teen crime, violence, and driving incidents, an important factor has been ignored: teenagers as a group suffer much higher average poverty rates than do older adults. A new study out today in SAGE Open finds that teenagers are no more naturally crime-prone than any other group with high poverty rates.

"Within every race and community, adolescents suffer poverty rates two to three times higher than do," stated study author Mike Males, Senior Research Fellow at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, San Francisco. "It is astonishing that researchers have compiled decades of theories and claims about teenagers' supposed risk-taking, impulsiveness, brain deficiencies, and crime-proneness without examining whether these are due to young people's low socioeconomic status, not young age."

Dr. Males examined more than 54,000 homicide deaths in California from 1991 to 2012. He found that when teenagers' are as low as those typical of middle-aged adults, they also have low murder rates like older adults. Additionally, in the rare areas where middle-agers suffer high typical of teenagers, middle-agers suffer high "teenage" murder rates.

Furthermore, before taking poverty into consideration, the peak age for homicide deaths is 19 years old, and then declines. However, when socio-economic status is considered, 19 remains the peak age only for high-poverty populations. Indeed, 83% of gun murders among occur in populations with poverty levels of 20% or higher.

"Only a few decades ago, leading authorities made the same claims that African Americans, Native Americans, and other 'inferior races' were biologically driven to violence, impulsiveness, crime, and other risks until those groups acquired the power to redirect attention to social conditions like poverty and discrimination. Hopefully these findings will provoke a similar change in discussion about adolescents."

Explore further: Long-term childhood poverty contributes to young adult obesity rates

More information: "Age, Poverty, Murder, and Gun Homicide: Is Young Age or Poverty Level the Key Issue?" SAGE Open, 2015.

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EWH
2.3 / 5 (9) Mar 05, 2015
Looks like he got the answer he wanted. The real causal relationship is more like
bad genes -> low intelligence, violent personality traits (often mediated by differences in neurotransmitter regulation such as MAO)
low intelligence in parents leads to both poverty and genetically low intelligence in children
(high income, low intelligence parents exist, and have children of the intelligence one would expect from their genes rather than their SES)
Controlling for SES sweeps the dependance of both crime and SES on intelligence under the rug.

This study is trying to imply that if the criminal classes were given more money and schooling they would be the same as their betters, but the evidence for long-term success of such measures is quite the opposite. Stupid people are not equal to others, their stupidity is overwhelmingly genetic, and it often leads them to do stupid things that harm others and society. They must not be treated equally, let alone better than others.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) Mar 05, 2015
More BS.
It is a poverty of culture.
Vietvet
3.5 / 5 (13) Mar 05, 2015
@EWH
Congratulations!

You've won the grand prize for the most bigoted, unscientific comment of the year!

You must be very proud of your stupidity.
Nik_2213
1 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2015
Poverty ? Perhaps.
Greed, certainly.
Neighbour's hyper-indulged brat, who wanted for nothing but sense, has just had to switch schools after being caught dealing low-dose 'E' to fellow students.

What can you say ??
Shootist
2.3 / 5 (8) Mar 05, 2015
1) Poverty is a state of mind, not a state of wealth. 2) Financial poverty is directly correlated to IQ. 3) Where's daddy?

Consider that the poorest of the poor in the United States are better off than 94% of the rest of the world. What can be extrapolated about crime on the rest of the planet? Why aren't crime rates as high in the rest of the world as they are in California?
Captain Stumpy
2.6 / 5 (8) Mar 06, 2015
Poverty is a state of mind, not a state of wealth
@shootist
that part i agree with
Financial poverty is directly correlated to IQ
this part is patently false and can be debunked easily just by polling the PO commenters alone
sorry
Why aren't crime rates as high in the rest of the world as they are in California?
well, one reason may well be that the criminals have a far higher level of protection from the law than others
then take into consideration that the law/law enforcement cannot be everywhere it needs to be
couple that with cali's restrictive laws about personal defense
then add in the "nutter factor"
multiply that with the lack of interest in feeding the law enforcement with tax money
and then factor in that the local and fed gov't wants to control everything with insufficient resources
top that off with the poor management of existing resources & apathy

and you have a disaster that is publicly followed all over the world!

Vietvet
3.3 / 5 (7) Mar 06, 2015
"Why aren't crime rates as high in the rest of the world as they are in California?'

Why compare California to the rest of the the world when it doesn't crack the top ten states for violent crime.

http://www.deathp...nd-state

http://247wallst....ica-2/2/

Squirrel
3 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2015
The title and first sentence talk of "crime" but the researchers only looked at murder. They could easily have checked out other types of criminal activity--so why didn't they?
ryggesogn2
2.5 / 5 (8) Mar 06, 2015
The 'teen' killed by a cop in MO, in which so many lies were propagated on his behalf, had just robbed a convenience store and assaulted a police officer before being killed.
'Petty' crimes corrode the rule of law.
When the govt refuses to control its borders it gives permission for all sorts of crime up to violent murders and and mass murder, like driving airliners in to buildings.
When 'leaders' blame their race for their failures, and use that to blackmail, a crime, is anyone surprised the rule of law is crumbling?
Or when a privileged politician can make specials deals for her brother using her high govt position and is not punished for hiding her official documents.... and accept money from other govts.....
The rot is from the top down and bottom up.
ryggesogn2
2.5 / 5 (8) Mar 06, 2015
young people's low socioeconomic status,

Which is used as an excuse by rich race hucksters who don't pay taxes, like Sharpton, to build an resentful class.
And its not just blacks doing this, it is La Raza, THE RACE, and CAIR. (Why don't the Chinese and Indian Asians, or non-American blacks play this game?)

Anyone from these communities who steps up and calls out the hucksters for what they are is viciously attacked.
MR166
2.2 / 5 (5) Mar 06, 2015
The culture in some US cities breeds poverty and crime. People are taught to disregard the law and when caught plead police bias. If you are black and manage to succeed in something other than music or sports you are called an Uncle Tom. Conservative blacks are despised by their own race. Education is not valued as much as street knowledge.

With the federal government disregarding the constitution and picking which laws they will enforce at will, it seems that this attitude extends beyond the impoverished.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 06, 2015
Rot:

" Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, is the culmination of an exhaustive one-year deep dive investigation into the nexus between the Clintons' $100+ million personal wealth, the Clinton Foundation, and the decisions Hillary made as Secretary of State that benefited foreign donors, governments, and companies."
http://www.breitb...illions/
barakn
3.3 / 5 (6) Mar 06, 2015
Consider that the poorest of the poor in the United States are better off than 94% of the rest of the world. -Shootist
Donate most of your income so that the remainder leaves you below the poverty level, and then prove to us how awesome being poor in the US is.
MR166
3 / 5 (5) Mar 06, 2015
"Donate most of your income so that the remainder leaves you below the poverty level, and then prove to us how awesome being poor in the US is."

Yea, I see what you mean. Poverty sucks when you only have a free cell phone, cable TV, AC and a 10 year old car.
Bongstar420
1 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2015
DUH! Rich people are mostly average people with money
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2015
DUH! Rich people are mostly average people with money


Most 'average' people who have inherited or won wealth quickly lose it. Why?
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (6) Mar 08, 2015
The high rate of teen crime is due to luck of Christian fate and values in modern family and society, thanks to the imposed myths about evolution that serve certain selfish interests. Attempt to conceal the problem is a desire to mislead the public.
@ren
and where is the scientific study that validates this?
there isn't one
want to know why?
because SCIENCE requires evidence, and you are spouting religious dogma and rhetoric, NOT science

your xtian movement didn't have any problems with SCIENCE until recently (in the US, anyway)
https://www.youtu...jWkVKyRo

this is the reason you FAIL when trying to refute SCIENCE
SCIENCE is based upon FACTS... things that can be demonstrated over and over

religion is based upon a faith which requires submission to a belief WITHOUT evidence

go play religion on a conspiracy forum where it is welcome
THIS IS A SCIENCE SITE

Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (6) Mar 08, 2015
There are many researcher who have studied the Bible and confirmed its authenticity in historical plan
@ren
there is NO reputable science or empirical evidence supporting this claim
this is a blatant lie, otherwise you would link a reputable study proving it
have a heart for it can feel it and the wisdom its pages
where is the heart in selling your daughter as a slave?
where is the heart in stoning women for having sex?
lets not even get into the homosexual issue...
the bible is about TRIBALISM, not love
in fact, your own sky faerie says, in the book, that it wanted to wipe out entire populations (except for certain livestock) because they were the ENEMY
where is the love and wisdom in that?

again, you are coming from a cult brainwashed acolyte mandset and there is NO evidence that could allow you to think critically or with logic
therefore the conversations you post are nothing but TROLLING PSEUDOSCIENCE

you can't even LIE well!
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (6) Mar 08, 2015
In fact until recently, the ancient history of the world are known singular from the Bible and the last century was confirmed by archeologies
@renTROLL
no it wasn't and NO, it has never ONCE been validated by ANY scientific method at all, ANYWHERE... not even in Israel where there is a vested interest in making it true

this is called a BLATANT LIE (and punishable in your own religion... in fact, habitual liars could be stoned to death, you know... such love and wisdom in your book)

you are violating your OWN 10 commandments and blatantly cherry-picking what you want to support your own beliefs... and that is just with regard to the bible

there is NO scientific evidence that confirms the bible
there is NO scientific evidence validating it's historical accuracy
NONE
not ONE reputable study at all
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2015
The high rate of teen crime is due to luck of Christian fate and values in modern family and society, thanks to the imposed myths about evolution that serve certain selfish interests. Attempt to conceal the problem is a desire to mislead the public.


Throughout the Old Testament, God's people are continuously losing faith and suffer for it.

And this occurs with all societies: Greece, Rome, .....
katesisco
not rated yet Mar 08, 2015
Consider: suicide is the SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF TEENAGE DEATHS, and you will see how important it is to be 'normal' in our society based on jobs/money which in turn are prestige/standing in the community.
The middle class no longer exists, families are forced to move by our recession come austerity, divorce deprives children of continuity, and teenagers are powerless.
Consider: what is facebook or twitter except a stand-in for the real thing? A friend. It is a remedial effort to create a psuedo-friend in the place of one. SUICIDE IS THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH OF TEENAGERS.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2015
SUICIDE IS THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH OF TEENAGERS.


It doesn't help when there 'friends' encourage them to commit suicide.

"Massachusetts teen accused of encouraging friend to commit suicide"
http://www.onenew...mmit.htm

And then there are dozens of cases where teens torment other teens to the point where they commit suicide.

And this is in spite of all sorts of govt attempts to stop.

The middle class no longer exists, families are forced to move by our recession come austerity,

This is what 'liberals' want. Children are then victims and the state must step in and save them.
The state of MA kidnapped a teen from CT and held her for about a year. Her parents were under a gag order for months and finally violated that order as the state was killing their daughter.
Look up what happened to Justine Pellitier and this can happen to any teen today.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2015
"forms of state coercion deeply embedded in the law and history of the United States. And they were offered as policies grounded in science and the scientific management of society.

Consider the minimum wage. How much does racism have to do with it? Far more than most people realize. A careful look at its history shows that the minimum wage was originally conceived as part of a eugenics strategy — an attempt to engineer a master race through public policy designed to cleanse the citizenry of undesirables. To that end, the state would have to bring about the isolation, sterilization, and extermination of nonprivileged populations."
"The eugenics movement — almost universally supported by the scholarly and popular press in the first decades of the 20th century "
"The eugenics movement, as an application of the principle of the "planned society," was deeply hostile to free markets. "
http://fee.org/fr...mum-wage
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2015
"It was during this period and for this reason that we saw the first trial runs of the minimum wage in Massachusetts in 1912. The new law pertained only to women and children as a measure to disemploy them and other "social dependents" from the labor force. Even though the measure was small and not well enforced, it did indeed reduce employment among the targeted groups."
"The intellectual history shows that whole purpose of the minimum wage was to create unemployment among people who the elites did not believe were worthy of holding jobs."
"Princeton University's Royal Meeker was Woodrow Wilson's commissioner of labor. "It is much better to enact a minimum-wage law even if it deprives these unfortunates of work," Meeker argued in 1910. "Better that the state should support the inefficient wholly and prevent the multiplication of the breed than subsidize incompetence and unthrift, enabling them to bring forth more of their kind.""
http://fee.org/
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2015
"The eugenics movement, however evil its motive, understood an economic truth: the minimum wage excludes people from the job market. It takes away from marginal populations their most important power in the job market: the power to work for less. It cartelizes the labor market by allowing higher-wage groups access while excluding lower-wage groups.

King wrote of the cruelty of government in his day. That cruelty extends far back in time, and is crystallized by a wage policy that effectively makes productivity and upward mobility illegal. If we want to reject eugenic policies and the racial malice behind them, we should also repudiate the minimum wage and embrace the universal right to bargain."
http://fee.org/fr...mum-wage
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Mar 08, 2015
If teen poverty is the problem, why does the state ban teens from working?

Teens working with no minimum wage or even half min. wage would be WORKING, not being bored with too much time to commit crime.

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