Denmark: poorer children more likely to commit violent crime or self-harm

07 December 2018

Children from poorer families are at greater risk of being involved in violent crime and harming themselves as young adults, a study has shown.

Violent Teens iStock

Data from one million young Danish adults showed that children in the top 20% of wealthiest families in their first 15 years of life were least likely to harm themselves or commit violent crime between the ages of 15 and 33.

Children from the least affluent 20% of society were seven times more likely to harm themselves and 13 times more likely to commit violent crime compared with the wealthiest fifth.

Children from families whose income dropped from the top to the bottom fifth were 2.9 times more likely to commit violent crime and 2.3 times more likely to self-harm.

The research, by University of Manchester epidemiologists, was published in The Lancet Public Health.

Co-author Professor Roger Webb said: ‘This study underlines just how important it is to tackle socioeconomic inequalities during childhood.’

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