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The Development of Aggression and Antisocial Behavior. Brian McFarland Stony Brook University November 2004. Overview. Definitions of aggression Types of behavior frequently studied Traditional research questions Research paradigms Moffitt’s (1993) Model.

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The development of aggression and antisocial behavior

The Development of Aggression and Antisocial Behavior

Brian McFarland

Stony Brook University

November 2004


Overview
Overview

  • Definitions of aggression

  • Types of behavior frequently studied

  • Traditional research questions

  • Research paradigms

  • Moffitt’s (1993) Model


Definitions of aggression coie dodge 1997
Definitions of Aggression (Coie & Dodge, 1997)

  • Potential to harm others

  • Intent to harm

  • Subtypes

    • Antecedents vs. outcomes

    • Reactive vs. proactive

    • Hostile/affective vs. instrumental

  • Aggression as a subset of antisocial behavior


Types of behavior frequently studied
Types of Behavior Frequently Studied

  • Infancy/childhood

    • Physical aggression

    • Verbal aggression

    • Bullying

  • Adolescence/adulthood

    • Physical aggression

    • Criminality/delinquency

    • Serious violent offending

    • Harsh parental discipline, physical abuse of spouse/children


Traditional research questions
Traditional Research Questions

  • Normative trends in aggressive behavior

  • Species-wide antecedents/moderators of aggression

  • Gender differences

  • Individual differences in aggressive/antisocial behavior

    • Stability

    • Explanations

    • Consequences


Methodological issues
Methodological Issues

  • Measurement

    • Ratings (parents, teachers, peers, self-reports)

    • Official records

  • Perspectives

    • Sociological/ecological context

    • Social learning

    • Cognitive

    • Neuropsychological deficits (e.g., verbal ability, impulsivity)

  • Study designs

    • Cross-sectional

    • Longitudinal

    • Genetic


Paradox in aggressive antisocial behavior
Paradox in Aggressive/Antisocial Behavior

  • Stability of individual differences

  • Changes in prevalence rates

Prevalence of self-reported serious violent offending. Reproduction of Figure 12.2 in Coie & Dodge (1997, p. 792).


Moffit s 1993 model of antisocial behavior
Moffit’s (1993) Model of Antisocial Behavior

  • Two types of offenders:

    • Life-course-persistent

    • Adolescence-limited


Life course persistent antisocial behavior moffitt 1993
Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior(Moffitt, 1993)

  • Neuropsychological Risk

  • Interaction with social environment

    • Evocative

    • Reactive

    • Proactive

  • Maintenance and Elaboration

    • Cumulative Continuity

    • Contemporary Continuity

    • Narrowing Options for Change


Life course persistent antisocial behavior 1 neuropsychological risk moffitt 1993
Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior: 1. Neuropsychological Risk (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Poor verbal and executive functions

    • Verbal deficits: listening, speaking, reading, writing, problem solving, memory

    • Executive deficits: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity (ADHD)

  • Risk factors

    • Heredity

    • Prenatal: maternal drug use, poor nutrition, toxins

    • Postnatal: toxins, brain injury


Life course persistent antisocial behavior 2 interaction with social environment moffitt 1993
Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior:2. Interaction with Social Environment (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Evocative: difficult children evoke negative reactions from others

  • Parents often have similar deficits

    • Impulsivity

    • Low intelligence

    • Poor educational attainment

    • Low income


Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior:2. Interaction with Social Environment (Cont’d) (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Reactive: attributions of hostile intent

  • Proactive: preference for antisocial peers

  • Risks are exacerbated

    • Neuropsychological deficits not ameliorated

    • Failure to learn prosocial alternatives

    • Societal consequences of antisocial behavior


Life course persistent antisocial behavior 3 maintenance and elaboration moffitt 1993
Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior: 3. Maintenance and Elaboration (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Cumulative Continuity

  • Contemporary continuity

  • Narrowing options for change

    • Failure to learn prosocial alternatives

    • Societal consequences of antisocial behavior


Adolescence limited antisocial behavior moffitt 1993
Adolescence-Limited Antisocial Behavior (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Motivation

  • Mimicry

  • Reinforcement

  • Extinction


Adolescence limited antisocial behavior 1 motivation moffitt 1993
Adolescence-Limited Antisocial Behavior: 1. Motivation (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Maturity gap

    • Physical maturity occurs earlier

    • Social maturity occurs later

  • Role vacuum


Adolescence limited antisocial behavior 2 mimicry moffitt 1993
Adolescence-Limited Antisocial Behavior: 2. Mimicry (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Antisocial peers have mature status

    • Possessions

    • Sexual experience

    • Autonomy

    • Social consequences


Adolescence limited antisocial behavior 3 reinforcement moffitt 1993
Adolescence-Limited Antisocial Behavior:3. Reinforcement (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Social learning

    • Imitation ≠ Friendship

  • “Negative” consequences

    • Independence


Adolescence limited antisocial behavior 4 extinction moffitt 1993
Adolescence-Limited Antisocial Behavior:4. Extinction (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Waning motivation

  • Shifting contingencies

  • Options for change



Predictions of moffitt s 1993 model
Predictions of Moffitt’s (1993)Model

  • Epidemiology

  • Differential correlates

  • Types of offenses

  • Desistence


What develops moffitt 1993
What Develops? (Moffitt, 1993)

  • Life-course-persistent (psychopathology)

    • Verbal & executive deficits

    • Interpersonal skills, behavioral repertoires

    • Societal consequences

  • Adolescence-limited (normative)

    • Maturity gap

    • Attractiveness of antisocial models

    • Societal consequences


References
References

  • Coie, J.D., & Dodge, K.A. (1997). Aggression and antisocial behavior. In W. Damon & N. Eisenberg (Eds.), Social, Emotional, and Personality Development, Volume 3, Handbook of Child Psychology, 5th Edition. (pp. 779-862): Wiley.

  • Moffitt, T. E. (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 100, 674-701.


In class reviewers
In-Class Reviewers

  • Melissa Ramsay

  • Kate Stroud


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