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Antisocial Behavior

  1. Daniel F. Connor,
  2. Lisa A. Fraleigh

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0071

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Connor, D. F. and Fraleigh, L. A. 2010. Antisocial Behavior. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–4.

Author Information

  1. University of Connecticut Health Center

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Antisocial behavior (ASB) is generally defined as conduct and deportment that interferes with society. The essential characteristic of ASB is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major societal norms or rules are repeatedly violated, beginning in childhood or adolescence and often continuing into adulthood. These behaviors generally fall into several main groupings: aggressive behaviors that cause harm to or threaten harm to others, nonaggressive property destruction, covert aggressive behaviors of lying, deceitfulness, or theft, and rule or legal violations. Included are antisocial behaviors committed by persons of high standing in society and involving fraud and financial violations in business and industry (so-called white-collar crime) (Lewis, 2005). Antisocial behavior is pervasive. It is found in children, adolescents, and adults at all stages of life, with the exception of infancy, and in all cultures around the world. Although males traditionally express more ASB, over the last 30 years rates of antisocial problems in females appear to be rising.