Socio-cognitive differences between Moffitt's taxonomy of life-course persistent and adolescent-limited offenders.
Kelly, June Helene.
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The study's findings support the hypothesis that Moffitt's taxonomy of life-course and adolescent-limited delinquents applies in a Black, developing, semi rural population in South Africa, using a qualitative life-story research design. While the research design did not allow for conclusive proof of early psychoneurological deficits, difficult temperament and conduct disorders, features in the infant and childhood phases of the life-course offender, support for Moffitt's taxonomy arose from many other sources. These were the earlier onset and more violent antisocial behaviour, poorer school performance and peer relationships, greater impulsivity, ineffective goal setting, retarded moral development and lower social esteem of the life-course, relative to the adolescent-limited, offender research groups. Group cognitive difference found by Moffitt did not emerge. Suggestions for a local South African pilot intervention based on Moffitt's principles were made.