The Most Dangerous Name

An unusual name could start a kid down a path to criminal behavior

By David Hogarty
|  Thursday, Jan 29, 2009  |  Updated 7:45 PM PDT
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The Most Dangerous Name

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Ivan the Terrible? A new study concludes that young males with unusual names like Ivan are more likely to become delinquents than those with more common names like Michael or David.

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A recently published study shows that giving one's child a less-common name could make it more likely they turn to a life of crime.

David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania found that males with less common names like Ernest or Ivan were more likely to become juvenile delinquents than kids with names like Michael or David. Their study was published in the journal Social Science Quarterly.

The researchers' findings were independent of race and the study proposed a number of theories about why an unusual name might predispose a boy to early criminal behavior. One theory is that a less-common name makes it more difficult for males to befriend others and have difficulty forming relationships. Another theory is that young males are acting out because they consciously dislike their names.

All we know is that when you're naming a kid, steer clear of making his middle name "Wayne." That's just going be trouble for everyone.

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