Lacourse et al identified risk factors for a young child eventually becoming affiliated with a deviant peer group. Early recognition of this risk permits early interventions to redirect the child into normal society. The authors are from the University of Montreal, Carnegie Mellon University and King's College in London.


Subject selection: boys in kindergarten


Risk factors for joining a deviant peer group:

(1) high hyperactivity

(2) high levels of fearlessness

(3) little in the way of prosocial tendencies



• Prosocial tendencies include helping or comforting others, inviting others to join in activities, showing empathy, etc.


The risk was greatest when all 3 risk factors were present.


The presence of high levels of family adversity may cause a child at risk to associated with a deviant peer group at an early age.


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