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Antisocial behavior from a developmental psychopathology perspective

Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, 2001 Geology and Psychology Building, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.
Development and Psychopathology (Impact Factor: 4.89). 11/2009; 21(4):1111-31. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579409990071
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper reviews research on chronic patterns of antisocial behavior and places this research into a developmental psychopathology framework. Specifically, research suggests that there are at least three important pathways through which children and adolescents can develop severe antisocial behaviors. One group of youth shows antisocial behavior that begins in adolescence, and two groups show antisocial behavior that begins in childhood but differ on the presence or absence of callous-unemotional traits. In outlining these distinct pathways to antisocial behavior, we have tried to illustrate some key concepts from developmental psychopathology such as equifinality and multifinality, the importance of understanding the interface between normal and abnormal development, and the importance of using multiple levels of analyses to advance causal theories. Finally, we discuss how this development model can be used to enhance existing interventions for antisocial individuals.

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    • "Further, there is both theoretical and empirical precedent for taking into account the existence of distinct classes or patterns of externalizing behavior in order to identify and understand the unique causal pathways leading to each class or pattern (DeLisi 2013). It is possible that these unique causal pathways are related to different dispositional and contextual factors or that it requires a combination of individual and contextual factors for a youth to exhibit the rarer but more severe and stable pattern of delinquency, whereas social influences alone could lead to the less severe and more transient patterns (Frick and Viding 2009; Moffitt 2006). In support of this possibility, Markowitz et al. (2014) reported that neighborhood income moderated the association between CU traits and delinquency, but only for violent delinquency (e.g., serious physical fight) and not instrumental delinquency (e.g., theft). "
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    ABSTRACT: Both callous-unemotional (CU) traits and impulse control are known risk factors associated with delinquency and substance use. However, research is limited in how contextual factors such as neighborhood conditions influence the associations between these two dispositional factors and these two externalizing behaviors. The current study utilized latent class analysis (LCA) to identify unique classes of delinquency and substance use within an ethnically diverse sample (n = 1216) of justice-involved adolescents (ages 13 to 17) from three different sites. Neighborhood disorder, CU traits, and impulse control were all independently associated with membership in classes with more extensive histories of delinquency and substance use. The effects of CU traits and impulse control in distinguishing delinquent classes was invariant across levels of neighborhood disorder, whereas neighborhood disorder moderated the association between impulse control and substance use. Specifically, the probability of being in more severe substance using classes for those low in impulse control was stronger in neighborhoods with fewer indicators of social and physical disorder.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10802-015-0057-0 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "We examine the history of both the beneficial and adverse aspects of parent–child socialization, and we use frequent and intensive observations in lengthy naturalistic contexts, in a longitudinal design, with children, mothers, and fathers followed from infancy to age 10. Unreactive, difficult, fearless, autonomically hypo-aroused children often fail to respond to average parental pressure (e.g., Dadds and Salmon 2003; Briggs-Gowan et al. 2014; Frick and Viding 2009). Given that increasing pressure would be counter-productive, we have posed that, with such children, parents should rely on alternative, positive socialization mechanisms (Kochanska 1993; Fowles and Kochanska 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: Electrodermal hyporeactivity (or low skin conductance level, SCL) has been long established as a correlate of and diathesis for antisocial behavior, aggression, disregard for rules of conduct and feelings of others, and generally, externalizing behavior problems in children and adults. Much less is known, however, about how individual differences in children's SCL and qualities of their early experiences in relationships with parents interact to produce antisocial outcomes. In a community sample of 102 families (51 girls), we examined children's SCL, assessed in standard laboratory tasks at age 8 (N = 81), as a moderator of the links between parent-child socialization history and children's externalizing behavior problems at ages 8 and 10, reported by mothers and fathers in well-established instruments and by children in clinical interviews. Mother- and father-child socialization history was assessed in frequent, intensive observations. Parent-child mutually responsive orientation (MRO) was observed from infancy to age 10, parental power assertion was observed from 15 months to age 6 ½, and children reported their attachment security in interviews at age 8 and 10. For children with lower SCL, variations in mothers' power assertion and father-child MRO were associated with parent-rated externalizing problems. The former interaction was consistent with diathesis-stress, and the latter with differential susceptibility. For children with higher SCL, there were no links between socialization history and externalizing problems.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014; 43(4). DOI:10.1007/s10802-014-9938-x · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    • "The DSM-IV age-of-onset classification was intended to overlap with the socialised/ undersocialised subtype of CD used in DSM-III as it was believed that undersocialised cases tended to have an early onset (Lahey, 2014). Children with early-onset antisocial behaviour are more likely to have high CU traits than children with adolescent onset (Frick & Viding, 2009). Physical aggression is also more common in children with high CU traits and early-onset antisocial behaviour (Frick et al., 2014c). "
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    ABSTRACT: Heterogeneity in the presentation, antecedents, prognosis and treatment response of antisocial behaviour has long provided a challenge to developmental psychopathology researchers. As illustrated in the incisive Frick and colleagues' Annual Research Review, there is growing evidence that the presence of high callous‐unemotional (CU) traits identifies a subgroup of antisocial young people with a particularly aggressive and pervasive form of disorder. Frick and colleagues extend their developmental psychopathology approach to CU traits by linking in theories of conscience development and considering evidence on the stability of CU traits. This commentary addresses these themes and the area more generally, considering (1) comparison of a CU specifier to alternative approaches to antisocial heterogeneity (2) high CU traits in the absence of antisocial behaviour and (3) aspects of the measurement of CU traits.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 06/2014; 55(6). DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12253 · 5.67 Impact Factor
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