Early-in-Life Origins of Violent Behavior in Males

2019 Boys at Risk Conference

A Bio-Psycho-Social & infant Mental Health Approach to a Major Social Issue

When: Spring, 2019
Where: Santa Fe, NM

Boys at Risk for Committing Violence—Some Key Questions

In taking a bio-psycho-social orientation to boys at risk from conception to toddlerhood, this conference expands the usual scope of origins of violent criminality. Going beyond social construction, the conference will feature speakers who place the origins of violence in a contemporary developmental context. Some of the key questions the conference will address are:

  • What may be different about the neurobiological make up of boys that may create a predisposition for violence and under what conditions?
  • How may the exposure to the social environment that small boys are raised in interact with this neurobiological predisposition to make it more or less likely that violent behavior will result?
  • How does the socio-economic macro-environment color both the biology and immediate caregiving environment in ways that may lead to violence?

Boys at Risk

By a very significant margin, most violent crime is committed by males. Starting in preschool and in elementary school, boys in the United States are more likely to be disciplined and suspended for conduct problems. By adolescence, the juvenile arrest rate for boys for violent crime is four times greater than for girls. Adult males account for one in ten arrests and imprisonments for the most serious violence crimes—murder, rape, and robbery.

The Infant Mental Health Journal and this Conference

In January 2019, the Infant Mental Health Journal—the official journal of the World Association for Infant Mental Health—will publish a special issue on this topic of the Early-in-Life Origins of Violent Behavior in Males. This publication will be the scholarly basis of the conference. Some of the contributors and titles follow:

  • Kenneth Corvo, University of Syracuse, Early life risk for domestic violence perpetration: implications for practice and policy
  • Andrea Glenn, University of Alabama, Biological factors influencing the development of psychopathic traits
  • Hiram Fitzgerald, Michigan State University, & Paul Golding, Santa Fe Boys Educational Foundation, Relational developmental systems and organization of pathways to violence from infancy through early childhood
  • Jorge Garcia, James Heckman, & Anna Ziff, University of Chicago, Early childhood education’s effects on remediating violent behavior in males
  • Sara Jaffee, University of Pennsylvania, Gene-environment interplay in the early development of boys’ violent behavior
  • Barry Lester, Brown University, Elisabeth Conradt & Sarah Terrell, University of Utah, A developmental origins perspective on the childhood emergence of violent behavior in males
  • Richard Mizen, University of Exeter, Violence—A forlorn hope
  • Adrian Raine, University of Pennsylvania, Early health risk factors for male violence
  • Daniel Shaw & Stephanie Sitnick, University of Pittsburgh, A prospective study of early in life origins of violent behavior in males
  • Stephen Suomi, National Institutes of Health, Development, attachment and aggression macque males
  • Richard E. Tremblay & Sylvana Cote, University of Montreal, A bio-psycho-social intergenerational approach to the prevention of violent behavior
  • Melvin Wilson et al., University of Virginia, Considering the role of discrimination experiences in the development of maladaptive behaviors in Children

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