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Bad Name = Bad Kid

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A new study says boys with specific names are more likely to be criminals.

baby boy in jail

If you're trying to decide what to name your soon-to-be son, listen to this: According to a study published in the journal Social Science Quarterly boys with certain names are more likely to grow up to be criminals. 

When researchers created a popularity name index for each name, they found that regardless of race, boys named Alec, Ernest, Ivan, Kareem, and Malcolm are associated with juvenile delinquency. And while these names are not the direct cause of criminal behavior, boys with uncommon names are treated differently by other kids, making it difficult for them to form healthy relationships. Also, kids with unpopular names are more prone to acting out because they consciously or unconsciously dislike their names.

The most popular name among boys? Michael followed by David, a name given half as frequently as Michael.


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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Amy Cairns Harrison January 29, 2009, 11:03 AM

As the mother of a sweet boy named Malcolm, I find the Social Science Quarterly study to be offensive and inline with a society that continues to perpetuate ridiculous stereotypes. I’d like a chance to review the study data because I am sure any of a number of “findings” could be finessed into a story.

anon January 29, 2009, 11:27 AM

Read freakonomics.

Jill January 30, 2009, 5:38 AM

Anyone else think of Alec Baldwin when they read this? He certainly acts like a juvenile …

Cristina Mathers February 2, 2009, 10:51 PM

i instantly thought of alec baldwin calling his daughter a filthy little pig.


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