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Occasional Paper: Understanding the Intergenerational Transmission of Criminality in Singapore

Topic(s): Rehabilitation


Prevention and early intervention are critical. It involves disrupting offending cycles that may cut across generations, and minimising the perpetuation of negative outcomes across generations.

In view of this, MSF and NCSS embarked on the Intergenerational Transmission of Criminality and Social Disadvantages (INTRACS) research programme, to better understand the impact of parental criminality on child criminality in Singapore.

Based on the study, there is intergenerational transmission of criminality in Singapore. Children exposed to parental criminality are more likely to have contact with the criminal justice system, as compared to children with no parental exposure to criminality.

The study also found that:
  • The impact of paternal and maternal criminality is greater on daughters than sons.
  • The impact of parental custodial sentences on children is greater than that of noncustodial sentences.
  • Parental drug offending is associated with higher likelihood of child criminality as compared to other types of parental offending.

View the full paper: Understanding the Intergenerational Transmission of Criminality in Singapore