A study protocol to determine the association between lifetime lead exposure and violent criminal behaviour in young males in conflict with the law

Thokozani P. Mbonane, Angela Mathee, André Swart, Nisha Naicker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Low-level lead exposure has harmful and persistent effects on behaviour. Recent studies have linked environmental lead exposure and the development of aggressive, violent and criminal behaviour. This protocol is designed to study an association between lifetime (bone) lead levels and violent criminal behaviour among young males in conflict with the law in Gauteng youth development centres. Methods: This paper describes a study to determine a link between lifetime lead exposure and violent criminal behaviour. Lifetime lead exposure will be measured using bone lead measurement, while blood lead levels will be observed for current exposure. Thereafter, criminal records of participants will be reviewed whereas violent behaviour and risk factors will be observed using a questionnaire. The study focused on young males in conflict with the law in three centres within Gauteng Provence, South Africa. After stratifying the centres, we randomly selected participants. The researcher shall adhere to ethical requirements throughout the study. Data will be analysed for descriptive and inferential analysis using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Discussion: The study will provide a strong foundation for an improved understanding of the relationship between environmental contamination from lead exposure and aggression/violent criminal behaviour. Beyond the health sector, the study findings may be able to inform new approaches to crime prevention through environmental action with an emphasis on the role of non-health sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number932
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Behaviour
  • Blood
  • Bone
  • Criminal
  • Environmental health
  • Lead exposure
  • Lifetime
  • Violent
  • X-ray fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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