There was a scary report last week in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggesting that children with what they termed a lower than normal "fear conditioning" are more likely to commit crimes when they grow up. To determine this, they studied nearly 1,800 three-year-olds for their fear response as measure by the fear reflex of sweat secretion after assaulting the kids with a loud unpleasant noise.

Didn’t this used to be known as yelling at your kids? I’ve been doing it for years. I just never knew I was doing such a service to society.

Anyway, 20 years later, researchers pulled up the court records of the study participants. Turns out that none of the adults with a criminal record had what researchers had deemed a “normal fear response” at age three. The non-criminals on the other hand, had been properly frightened by the loud unpleasant noise.

Researchers think that the criminal tendency has to do with certain parts of the brain not working as they should. AFP reported:

"If crime is in part neurodevelopmentally determined, efforts to prevent and treat this worldwide behavior problem will increasingly rely on early health interventions," the study said.


For instance, prenatal programs to reduce maternal smoking, alcohol and drug consumption have been shown to reduce juvenile delinquency 15 years later, the study said.


And children aged three to five years old who have a good diet, get plenty of exercise and are mentally stimulated show better brain functioning six years later — and their rate of criminal offending as adults was reduced by 35 percent

Or maybe we just need to yell louder.

Screaming at Your Kids Could Save Them From a Life of Crime

Again, let the disagreements flow freely. On this very website recently another writer compared yelling at your kids to child abuse. I’m not buying it. For one thing, if nobody yells at your child before he runs off to college, don’t you think things could get a little scary? Shouting at the kids is just one more way I get them ready to go out into the real world, where people have bad days, lose their patience, and don’t always act their best traits. Plus, I’m good at it.

Seriously, I scare children — lots of them. I’m like an evil Mary Poppins, guaranteed to make your little monster sweat and beg for his momma or your money back. Do I hear a new career calling?