Sticks, Stones Break Bones, But Odd Names May Jail You

Boys with uncommon monikers act out more
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jan 29, 2009 10:06 AM CST
Juvenile inmate Nathaniel Abraham talks with his lawyers. Teenage boys with uncommon first names are more likely to commit crimes, a new study says.   (The Detroit News)
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(Newser) – The more unusual a teenage boy’s name is, the more likely he is to run afoul of the law, a study finds. Irrespective of race, uncommon names like Ivan, Malcolm, and Alec—as opposed to Michael or David—more often belong to kids who act up, researchers say. It’s probably not the names at fault, but connected factors like a deprived background, the Telegraph notes.

The boys may “act out because they dislike their names or are treated differently by their peers,” says the study’s publisher. The authors add, “First name characteristics may help identify individuals at high risk of committing crime, leading to more effective and targeted intervention programs.”