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Letters to the Editor |

Is a Large Body Size During Childhood a Risk Factor for Later Aggression?—Reply

Adrian Raine, DPhil; Chandra Reynolds, PhD; Sarnoff Mednick, DrMed; Peter H. Venables, DSc; David Farrington, DPhil
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999;56(3):284. doi:.
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The letter of Räsänen et al presents interesting and provocative longitudinal findings showing that violent criminals were taller and weighed more at age 1 year. They also show an interaction effect such that only violent male criminals weigh more at age 1 year. They speculate that our previously reported findings1 may have been an artifact of pooling data across sexes.

This is not the case. We did not observe any sex-by-group interactions, or even trends toward such interactions, for height (P>.33), weight (P>.90), or body bulk (P>.64). As can be seen from Table 1, group differences in body size variables were not restricted to boys but were also found for girls. Indeed, effect sizes (Cohen d)2 for females ranged from 0.21 to 0.31 and were, if anything, slightly higher than effect sizes for males (0.21-0.21).

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