The development of antisocial behaviour patterns in childhood and adolescence

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Abstract

A developmental model of antisocial behaviour is presented in this paper. Arguments and evidence are presented for the position that although many factors such as parent criminality, social and economic disadvantage, child temperament, and marital discord systematically affect the development of antisocial child behaviour, their influence is mediated by the extent to which they disrupt day-to-day parenting practices. Particularly, it is argued that irritable, ineffective discipline and poor parental monitoring are the most proximal determinants of the early development and maintenance of antisocial behaviour. The implications of this model for prevention and intervention in child conduct problems are discussed, using examples of promising clinical work that focuses on direct parent training.

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