Delinquency, health behaviour and health
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2010
2001 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Health Psychology
Volume 6, Issue 2, pages 103–120, May 2001
How to Cite
Junger, M., Stroebe, W. and Van der Laan, A. M. (2001), Delinquency, health behaviour and health. British Journal of Health Psychology, 6: 103–120. doi: 10.1348/135910701169098
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2010
- Received 17 November 1999; revised version received 14 March 2000
- Cited By
Objectives. This study investigated the association between delinquency and health in a sample of adolescents and young adults (aged 13-24) and examined whether the association could have been due to delinquency-related differences in demographic, socio-economic and life-style factors.
Method. The study is based on cross-sectional data from a sample of 3677 adolescents and young adults interviewed as part of a survey of Dutch households. Health, health behaviour, and delinquency were assessed through self-report measures.
Results. Delinquency was significantly related to three of the four measures of health behaviour (smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use), even after control for demographic and socio-economic factors. Delinquency was also significantly associated with all three measures of health assessed in this study (somatic symptoms, general health, and chronic conditions). However, only minimal support was found for the hypothesis that the association between delinquency and health was mediated by differences in health behaviour or demographic/socio-economic differences.
Conclusions. Adolescent delinquents are less healthy than non-delinquents. Potential causes for this relationship are proposed. Possibly, personality factors, such as hostility, or psychosocial stress might explain why delinquency correlates with health.