Sucrose and delinquency: Behavioral assessment

J. A. Bachorowski, J. P. Newman, S. L. Nichols, D. A. Gans, A. E. Harper, S. L. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this study, a double-blind challenge design was used to evaluate the hypothesis that sucrose ingestion may compromise the behavioral performance of juvenile delinquents. Subjects were 58 white delinquents, 57 black delinquents, and 39 white nondelinquents. The behavioral assessment included tasks that are relevant to delinquency and that might be expected to be disrupted following sucrose ingestion. The results provide no evidence that sucrose ingestion impairs the performance of juvenile delinquents. In fact, the results of several analyses indicated that the sucrose breakfast was associated with improved performance. In additional analyses the effect of sucrose on particular subgroups of juvenile delinquents was evaluated. Statistical interactions indicated that the performance of delinquents rated as more behaviorally disturbed benefited from sucrose ingestion, whereas those delinquents with less pronounced behavior problems tended to show impaired performance following a sucrose-loaded breakfast. These results indicate that simple statements regarding the effects of sucrose ingestion on behavior are likely to be misleading and highlight the need to consider individual difference variables when investigating the effects of sucrose on juvenile delinquents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-253
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • behavior
  • delinquency
  • hyperactivity
  • neuropsychology
  • sucrose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sucrose and delinquency: Behavioral assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this