People’s personalities are quite stable, etched early in life in muscles and minds. But Rutgers University psychologist Daniel Hart and colleagues find that over time, the personalities of children in poor neighborhoods not only change more than do those of wealthier children, but also run a higher risk of taking a turn for the worse. The more rotten the barrel, their findings suggest, the more apples go bad.

“I don’t want to demonize these kids,” Hart says. “Most turn out to be very good, no...

Want more? Sorry, the full text of this article is only available to subscribers. Subscribe now.

Already a subscriber? Please log in by entering your email address and password into the red login box at the top-right corner of this page.

Need to register for your premium online access, which is included with your paid subscription? Register here.

Tracker Pixel for Entry