Farrington (2006) The Cambridge Study

Revision card on Farrington's 2006 study looking at delinquent development.


Farrington (2006) The Cambridge Study

Aims: To document the start, duration and end of offending behaviour from childhood to adulthood in families.

Design: Prospective, longitudinal survey. Interviews and criminal record searches.

Participants: 411 East London boys aged 8/9, predominantly white working class.


  • 91% of those convicted at age 10-13 were reconvicted
  • Most crimes committed by youths aged 17
  • A small proportion (7%) of males were 'chronic offenders' who accounted for about half of all recorded crimes. More likely to have a convicted parent, delinquent sibling, high daring, young mother, low popularity, disrupted family and large family size.
  • 93% had commited a crime at some stage even though they were not reported to the police.
  • At age 48, 161 had official convictions
  • The number of men leading successful lives (6/9 of the criteria of life success) increased with age.

Conclusion: Early prevention could have wide-ranging benefits.

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