You are on page 1of 5

Antisocial Beha ior in Childhood and Adolescence

Tal U 1975 Christians and Jews in Germany: Religion, Ideology and Politics in the Second Reich, 1870–1914. Cornell University Press, Ithaca London Toury J 1968 Turmoil and Confusion in the Re olution of 1848. Moreshet, Tel Aviv, Israel Volkov S 1990 Ju disches Leben und Antisemitismus im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Verlag C. H. Beck, Munich, Germany Wistrich R A 1991 Antisemitism. The Longest Hatred. Thames Metheuen, London Yavetz Z 1997 Judenfeindschaft in der Antike. C H Beck, Munich, Germany Yuval I J 1993 Vengeance and damnation, blood, and defama- tion: From Jewish martyrdom to blood libel accusations. Zion 58: 33–90 Zimmermann M 1986 Wilhelm Marr: The Patriarch of Anti- semitism. Oxford University Press, New York

S. Volkov

Antisocial Behavior in Childhood and Adolescence

Antisocial behavior is a broad construct which encom- passes not only delinquency and crime that imply conviction or a possible prosecution, but also dis- ruptive behavior of children, such as aggression, below the age of criminal responsibility (Rutter et al. 1998). The age of criminal responsibility varies from 7 years of age in Ireland and Switzerland to 18 years of age in Belgium, Romania, and Peru. In the United States, several states do not have a specific age. Legal, clinical, and developmental definitions of antisocial behavior have different foci.

1. Definitions of Antisocial and Aggressi e

Beha ior

Legal definitions of criminal offences committed by young people cover: (a) noncriminal but risky behavior (e.g., truancy) which is beyond the control of author- ities; (b) status offences where the age at which an act was committed determines whether it is considered damaging (e.g., gambling); (c) crimes to protect the offender from being affected (e.g., possession of drugs); and (d) crimes with a victim (e.g., robbery) broadly defined (Rutter et al. 1998). The most common crimes among young people are thefts. Only some forms of delinquency involve aggression which is a narrower construct than antisocial behavior. A meta-analysis of factor analytic studies of antisocial behavior (Frick et al. 1993) revealed four major categories of antisocial behavior defined by two dimensions (overt to covert behavior, and destructive to less destructive) as follows: (a) aggression, such as

assault and cruelty (destructive and overt); (b) prop- erty violations, such as stealing and vandalism (de- structive and covert); (c) oppositional behavior, such as angry and stubborn (nondestructive and overt); and (d) status violations, such as substance use and truancy (nondestructive and covert). Aggression and violence are related but not synonymous concepts. Violence usually refers to physical aggression in its extreme forms. Clinical definitions of antisocial behavior are focussed on psychopathological patterns in indivi- duals. Oppositional defiant disorder, which includes temper tantrums and irritable behavior, becomes clinically less problematic by age eight, but some children, more often boys than girls, are unable to outgrow these problems. Conduct disorder is diagnosed on the basis of a persistent pattern of behavior which violates the rights of others or age-appropriate societal norms. To individuals who must be at least 18 years of age, a third diagnosis, antisocial personality disorder, can be applied. These psychopathological patterns may in- volve delinquent behavior, but the criteria of their diagnosis are broader in terms of psychological dys- function. De elopmental approaches to antisocial behavior are focussed on its developmental antecedents, such as hyperactive and aggressive behavior in childhood, and maladjustment to school in early adolescence. The younger the children are, the more their ‘antisocial’ behavior extends beyond acts that break the law. Different delinquency-related acts may be indicators of the same underlying construct such as low self- control, or they may indicate developmental sequences across different but correlated constructs. Development of antisocial behavior is studied using a longitudinal design which means repeated investi- gations of the same individuals over a longer period of time. The increasing number of longitudinal studies indicates a high continuity of behavior problems from childhood to adulthood. There is continuity between disobedience and defiance of adults, aggression to- wards peers, and hyperactivity at age three, and similar or more serious behavior problems in later childhood. Hyperactivity during the preschool years associated with aggressive behavior has the most robust links to later antisocial behavior. Common definitions of aggression emphasize an intent to harm another person (Coie and Dodge 1998). References to the emotional component of aggression are not typically made in these definitions. Anger, the emotional component of aggression, and hostility, a negative attitude, motivate a person for aggressive acts, but aggressive behavior may also be displayed instrumentally. Hostile aggressive responding is char- acterized by intense autonomic arousal and strong responses to perceived threat. In contrast, instru- mental aggression is characterized by little autonomic activation and an orientation toward what the ag-


Antisocial Beha ior in Childhood and Adolescence

gressor sees as a reward or expected outcome of behavior. Each aggressive act has a mode of expression, direction, and motive. An aggressive act may be expressed physically, verbally, or non-verbally, and targeted, in each case, more directly or indirectly. It also varies in its harmfulness or intensity. The motive of the aggressive act may be defensive (reactive) or offensive (proactive). Among school children, proa ctive aggression is often displayed in bullying beha- vior, which means purposefully harmful actions re- peatedly targeted at one and the same individual. From four percent to 12 percent of children—boys slightly more often than girls—can be designated as bullies and as many as victims depending on the method of identification, age of children, and culture. Both bullying others and being victimized tend to endure from one year to another, and they are related to relatively stable personality patterns. Besides Bullies and Victims, the participant roles include Assistants who are more or less passive followers of the bully, Reinforcers who provide Bullies with positive feed- back, Defenders who take sides with the victim, and Outsiders who tend to withdraw from bullying situa- tions (Salmivalli 1998). Self-defense and defense of others are often cul- turally accepted, and many children limit their aggressive behavior to defensive aggression. Longitu- dinal findings show that ‘defense-limited’ aggression in early adolescence predicts more successful social adjustment in adulthood than ‘multiple’ aggression, which also includes proactive aggression. Only mul- tiple aggression predicts criminal offences at a later age (Pulkkinen 1996). The distinction between hostile and instrumental aggression is not parallel to defense- limited and multiple aggression or to reactive and proactive aggression. Although proactive aggression often is instrumental, reactive (or defensive) aggres- sion may be either instrumental or hostile.

2. De elopment of Aggression and Antisocial

Beha ior

2.1 De elopment of Aggression

Anger expression cannot be differentiated from other negative affects in newborns, but by four months of age angry facial displays—the eyebrows lower and draw together, the eyelids narrow and squint, and the cheeks elevated—are present and they are directed to the source of frustration (Stenberg and Campos 1990). The most frequent elicitors of aggression in infancy are physical discomfort and the need for attention. Peer-directed aggression, seen in responding to peer provocations with protest and aggressive retaliation, can be found at the end of the first year of life. At this age children become increasingly interested in their own possessions and control over their own activities.


During the second year of life, oppositional beha- vior and physical aggression increase. Most children learn to inhibit physical aggression during preschool age, but other children continue displaying it (Tremblay et al. 1999). Verbal aggression sharply increases between two and four years of age and then stabilizes. It is a time of fast language development which helps children to communicate their needs symbolically. Delays in language development are often related to aggressive behavior problems. Between six to nine years of age, the rate of aggression declines, but at the same time its form and function change from the relatively instrumental nature of aggression in the preschool period to increasingly person-oriented and hostile (Coie and Dodge 1998). Children become aware of hostile intents of other people and they, particularly aggressive children, perceive threats and derogations to their ego and self- esteem which elicit aggression. Most longitudinal studies show a decrease in the ratings of aggression, that is, in the perceived frequency of aggressive acts as children enter adolescence. Nevertheless, serious acts of violence increase. Individual differences in aggress- ive behavior become increasingly pronounced.

2.2 Indi idual Differences in Aggression and

Antisocial Beha ior

Individual differences in anger expression emerge early in life. At the age of two years, consistency of anger responses across time is already significant. Individual differences in aggression remain rather stable during childhood and adolescence. Correlations vary slightly depending on the measures used, the length of interval, and the age of children, but they are generally between 0.40 and 0.70. The stability is comparable for males and females. Individual differences in responding to a conflict lie both in the frequency of aggressive behavior and in prosocial attempts to solve conflicts. The latter are facilitated by language development. Language may, however, provide children with verbal means of aggression. Additional factors, such as the devel- opment of self-regulation, perspective taking, empa- thy, and social skills, are needed for the explanation of individual differences in aggression (Coie and Dodge


Gender differences in aggression appear in pre- school age, boys engaging in more forceful acts both physically and verbally. This sex difference widens in middle childhood and peaks at age 11 when gender differences in aggressive strategies emerge: girls display relational aggression (e.g., attempts to exclude peers from group participation) more than boys, and boys engage in fighting more than girls (Lagerspetz and Bjo rkqvist 1994). Both fighting and relational ag- gression may aim at structuring one’s social status in a peer group, but by different means.

Antisocial Beha ior in Childhood and Adolescence

Antisocial and other externalizing behavior is more common, and the offending career is longer among males than among females. There have been, however, changes in the ratio between male and female offenders during the 1980s and 90s in several western countries. Adolescent girls are increasingly involved in antisocial behavior. In the United Kingdom, the sex ratio was about 10:1 in the 1950s, and 4:1 in the 1990s. The peak age of offending among girls has remained at around age 14 or 15, but the peak age for male offenders has risen in thirty years from 14 to 18 (Rutter et al. 1998). The peak age of registered offences is related to police and prosecution policy, and varies by offense. For instance, peak age is later for violent crimes than for thefts.

2.3 Continuity in Antisocial Beha ior

A multiproblem pattern is a stronger predictor of delinquency than a single problem behavior. For instance, aggression in childhood and adolescence predicts delinquency when associated with other prob- lem behaviors, such as hyperactivity, lack of con- centration, and low school motivation and achieve- ment, and poor peer relations (Stattin and Magnusson 1995). Peer rejection in preadolescence, which indi- cates social incompetence rather than social isolation, predicts delinquency even independently of the level of aggression. Continuity from early behavioral prob- lems to delinquency and other externalizing behavior is higher among males than among females, whereas girls’ behavioral problems predict internalizing beha- vior (depression and anxiety) more often than boys’ behavioral problems (Zoccolillo 1993). Several studies show that a small group of chronic offenders accounts for half of the offences of the whole group. They tend to display the pattern of antisocial behavior called ‘life-course-persistent.’ It is charac- terized at an early age by lack of self-control, reflecting an inability to modulate impulsive expression, difficult temperament features, hyperactivity, attentional prob- lems, emotional lability, behavioral impulsivity, ag- gressiveness, cognitive, language and motor deficits, reading difficulties, lower IQ, and deficits in neuro- psychological functioning. Thirteen percent of the boys in the study by Moffitt et al. (1996) met criteria for early onset, but only half of them persisted into adolescence. Therefore, several assessments are needed for the identification of life-course-persistent offenders. An adolescence-limited pattern of offending is more common than the life-course-persistent pattern. It reflects the increasing prevalence of delinquent ac- tivities during adolescence. Both overt (starting from bullying) and covert (starting from shoplifting) path- ways toward serious juvenile offending have been discerned (Loeber et al. 1998). Compared to the life- course-persistent pattern, the adolescence-limited pattern is less strongly associated with difficult tem-

perament, hyperactivity and other early behavioral problems, neuropsychological deficits, and poor peer relationships. Many problem behaviors are very com- mon in adolescence. Self-reports show that half of males and from 20 percent to 35 percent of females have been involved in delinquency. Rutter et al. (1998) conclude that antisocial behavior ‘operates on a continuum as a dimensional feature that most people show to a greater or lesser degree’ (p. 11).

3. Determinants of Antisocial Beha ior

With the increase of empirical findings, theories of crime which try to explain crime with a single set of causal factors have been increasingly criticized. The climate has changed also in regard to the possible role of individual characteristics as determinants of anti- social behavior. In the 1970s, theories emphasized social causes of crime, and paid little attention to individual factors. The situation is now different. Empirical studies have revealed that determinants of antisocial behavior are diverse ranging from genetic to cultural factors. Studies on genetic factors in antisocial behavior have shown that the estimates for the genetic com- ponent of hyperactivity are about 60 to 70 percent. Antisocial behavior linked to hyperactivity, which is generally associated with poor social functioning, is strongly genetically influenced. In contrast, antisocial behavior which is not associated with hyperactivity is largely environmental in origin (Silberg et al. 1996). The genetic component for violent crime is low compared to the heritability of aggression (about 50 percent), but this difference may also be due to differences in prevalence of these behaviors, and its effects on statistical analyses. There is no gene for antisocial behavior; it is multifactorially determined. Genetic effects increase a liability for antisocial behavior, but they operate probabilistically, which means that the effects increase the likelihood of antisocial behavior, if environmental and experiential factors affect in the same direction. This conclusion also concerns the XYY chromosomal anomality. The importance of experiential factors, particularly early family socialization, in the development of aggression has been shown in many studies (Coie and Dodge 1998). Aggressive individuals generally hold positive views about aggression and believe it is normative. Child-rearing strategies are related to subsequent aggression in the child, for instance, insecure and disorganized attachment with the care- giver, parental coldness and permissiveness, incon- sistent parenting, and power-assertive discipline (Hinde et al. 1993). Low monitoring is particularly important to adolescent involvement with antisocial behavior. Parenting affects children’s behavior in interaction with their temperament resulting in differ-


Antisocial Beha ior in Childhood and Adolescence

ences in self-control that are related to adult outcomes, such as criminality (Pulkkinen 1998). An adverse immediate environment which increases a risk for antisocial behavior in interaction with genetic factors includes parental criminality, family discord, ineffective parenting such as poor supervision, coercive parenting and harsh physical discipline, abuse, neglect, and rejection, delinquent peer groups, unsupervised after school activities, and youth un- employment. These risk factors also increase the use of alcohol and drugs, which is often related to crime, and are very similar in different countries, although there are also some differences (Farrington and Loeber


There are also several sociocultural factors which may serve to raise the level of crime in the community, such as income differentials, antisocial behavior in neighborhood, the availability of guns, media viol- ence, the quality of school and its norms, unem- ployment rate, and involvement in a drug market. Poverty is strongly related to aggression and possibly operates through disruption of parenting. Violent virtual reality is available for children of the present generation via electronic games playing. TV programs and video films are passive in nature, whereas elec- tronic games involve the player’s active participation and often violent winning strategies (Anderson and Ford 1986). Some minority ethnic groups are over- represented in crime statistics, but causal factors are complex. Cultural traditions cause, however, vast differences in crime rates between different countries. In Asian countries, particularly in Japan, crime rates are lower than in western countries.



Official statistics in developed countries show that crime rates among young people have been rising since the 1970s. The results of recent longitudinal studies have increased our understanding of factors con- tributing to the incidence of antisocial behavior. A greater understanding of how causal mechanisms operate is, however, needed for the development of effective means of preventing crime. Since persistent antisocial behavior starts from conduct problems in early childhood, support for families and work with parents and teachers to improve their management skills are extremely important. An affectionate parent, nonpunitive discipline, and consistent supervision are protective factors against antisocial behavior. Parent management training is a neglected area in western educational systems. Socialization of children and youth might also be supported by, for instance, legislation against gun availability and sociopolitical improvements of family conditions.

See also: Adolescent Development, Theories of; Adol- escent Vulnerability and Psychological Interventions;


Aggression in Adulthood, Psychology of; Behavior Therapy with Children; Children and the Law; Crime and Delinquency, Prevention of; Developmental Psy- chopathology: Child Psychology Aspects; Early Child- hood: Socioemotional Risks; Personality and Crime; Personality Theory and Psychopathology; Poverty and Child Development; Social Competence: Child- hood and Adolescence; Socialization in Adolescence; Socialization in Infancy and Childhood; Violence and Effects on Children


Anderson C A, Ford C M 1986 Affect of the game player. Short- term effects of highly and mildly aggressive video games. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 12: 390–402 Coie J D, Dodge K A 1998 Aggression and antisocial behavior. In: Damon W, Eisenberg N (eds.) Handbook of Child Psy- chology. Vol. 3. Social,Emotional andPersonality De elopment, Wiley, New York, pp. 779–862 Farrington D P, Loeber R 1999 Transatlantic replicability of risk factors in the development of delinquency. In: Cohen I, Slomkowski C, Robins L N (eds.) Historical and Geographical Influences on Psychopathology, Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ, pp.


Frick P J, Lahey B B, Loeber R, Tannenbaum L, Van Horn Y, Chirst M A G 1993 Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder: a meta-analytic review of factor analyses and cross- validation in a clinic sample. Clinical Psychology Re iew 13:


Hinde R A, Tamplin A, Barrett J 1993 Home correlates of aggression in preschool. Aggressi e Beha ior 19: 85–105 Lagerspetz K M, Bjo rkqvist K 1994 Indirect aggression in girls and boys. In: Huesmann L R (eds.) Aggressi e Beha ior:

Current Perspecti es, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 131–50 Loeber R, Farrington D P, Stouthamer-Loeber M, Moffitt T E, Caspi A 1998 The development of male offending: Key findings from the first decade of the Pittsburgh Youth Study. Studies on Crime and Crime Pre ention 7: 141–71 Moffitt T E, Caspi A, Dickson N, Silva P, Stanton W 1996 Childhood-onset versus adolescent-onset antisocial conduct problems in males: Natural history from ages to 18 years. De elopment and Psychopathology 9: 399–424 Pulkkinen L 1996 Proactive and reactive aggression in early adolescence as precursors to anti- and prosocial behavior in young adults. Aggressi e Beha ior 22: 241–57 Pulkkinen L 1998 Levels of longitudinal data differing in complexity and the study of continuity in personality charac- teristics. In: Cairns R B, Bergman L R, Kagan J (eds.) Methods and Models for Studying the Indi idual Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 161–184 Rutter M, Giller H, Hagell A 1998 Antisocial beha ior by young people. Cambridge University Press, New York Salmivalli C 1998 Not only bullies and ictims. Participation in harassment in school classes: some social and personality factors. Annales Universitatis Turkuensis, ser. B 225, Uni- versity of Turku, Finland Silberg J, Meyer J, Pickles A, Simonoff E, Eaves L, Hewitt J, Maes H, Rutter M 1996 Heterogeneity among juvenile antisocial behaviours: Findings from the Virginia Twin Study of Adolescent Behavioral Development. In: Bock G R, Goode J A (eds.) Genetics of Criminal and Antisocial Beha iour (Ciba

Antitrust Policy

Foundation Symposium no. 194), Wiley, Chichester, UK, pp. 76–85 Stattin H, Magnusson D 1995 Onset of official delinquency: Its co-occurrence in time with educational, behavioural, and interpersonal problems. British Journal of Criminology, 35:


Sternberg C R, Campos J J 1990 The development of anger expressions in infancy. In: Stein N L, Leventhal B, Trabasso T (eds.) Psychological and Biological Approaches to Emotion, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 247–82 Tremblay R E, Japel C, Pe russe D, McDuff P, Boivin M, Zoccolillo M, Montplaisir J 1999 The search for the age of ‘onset’ of physical aggression: Rousseau and Bandura re- visited. Criminal Beha ior and Mental Health 9: 8–23 Zoccolillo M 1993 Gender and the development of conduct disorder. De elopment and Psychopathology 5: 65–78

L. Pulkkinen

Copyright 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Antitrust Policy

The term antitrust, which grew out of the US trust- busting policies of the late nineteenth century, de- veloped over the twentieth century to connote a broad array of policies that affect competition. Whether applied through US, European, or other national competition laws, antitrust has come to represent an important competition policy instrument that underlies many countries’ public policies toward business. As a set of instruments whose goal is to make markets operate more competitively, antitrust often comes into direct conflict with regulatory policies, including forms of price and output controls, anti- dumping laws, access limitations, and protectionist industrial policies. Because its primary normative goal has been seen by most to be economic efficiency, it should not be surprising that antitrust analysis relies heavily on the economics of industrial organization. But, other social sciences also contribute significantly to our under- standing of antitrust. Analyses of the development of antitrust policy are in part historical in nature, and positive studies of the evolution of antitrust law (including analyses of lobbying and bureaucracy) often rely heavily on rational choice models of the politics of antitrust enforcement. The relevance of other disciplines notwithstanding, there is widespread agreement about many of the important antitrust tradeoffs. Indeed, courts in the US have widely adopted economic analysis as the theoretical foundation for evaluating antitrust con- cerns. Interestingly, however, antitrust statutes in the European Union also place heavy emphasis on the role of economics. Indeed, a hypothetical conver- sation with a lawyer or economist at a US compe- tition authority (the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Com-

mission) or the European Union (The Competi- tion Directorate) would be indistinguishable at first sight. While this article provides a view of antitrust primarily from the perspective of US policy, the review that follows illustrates a theme that has worldwide applicability. As our understanding of antitrust economics has grown throughout the past century, antitrust enforcement policies have also improved, albeit sometimes with a significant lag. In this survey the following are highlighted: (a) the early anti-big business period in the US, in which the structure of industry was paramount; (b) the period in which performance as well as structure was given significant weight, and there was a systematic attempt to balance the efficiency gains from concentration with the inefficiencies associated with possible anti-competitive behavior; (c) the most recent period, which includes the growth of high technology and network industries, in which behavior theories have been given particular emphasis.

1. The Antitrust Laws of the US

In the USA, as in most other countries, antitrust policies are codified in law and enforced by the judicial branch. Public cases may be brought under Federal law by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, by the Federal Trade Commission, and or by each of the 50-state attorneys-general. (The state attorneys-general may also bring cases under state law.) Further, there is a broad range of possibilities for private enforcement of the antitrust laws, which plays a particularly significant role in the USA.

1.1 The Sherman Act

Antitrust first became effective in the US near the end of the nineteenth century. Underlying the antitrust movement was the significant consolidation of in- dustry that followed the Civil War. Following the war, large trusts emerged in industries such as railroads, petroleum, sugar, steel, and cotton. Concerns about the growth and abusive conduct of these combinations generated support for legislation that would restrict their power. The first antitrust law in the USA—the Sherman Act—was promulgated in 1890. Section 1 of the Act prohibits: ‘Every contract, combination in the form of trust of otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations.’ Section 2 of the Sherman Act states that it is illegal for any person to ‘…monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations….’ These two sections of the Act contain the