Research out of New Zealand claims to have identified the four childhood personality traits most likely to produce future criminals.
The group of scientists, led by Avshalom Caspi from Duke University in North Carolina in the US, followed a cohort of 1037 people born in Dunedin for four decades.
Now aged 38, the participants have been assessed using interviews, health records and government records.
As well as criminal behaviour, lifestyle factors such as the likelihood to smoke tobacco, take out prescription drugs, become overweight and use welfare entitlements were also studied in relation to certain childhood conditions.
Among the group of people studied, there were a total of 2142 convictions for crimes excluding routine traffic offences. The convictions were highly concentrated, with 20 per cent of the cohort accounting for 97 per cent of convictions.