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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsTINA KRETSCHMER: That said, rather a lot of antisocial behaviour is committed by teenagers whose brains are still in development and who are influenced by their peers. Researchers also find a small group of individuals who show antisocial behaviour throughout most of their lives. They are already difficult to handle as children, and they continue into criminal careers as adults. This group is very small. Only about 5 out of 100 boys and 1 out of 100 girls belong to it, but they do commit around half of all antisocial acts. Scientists have shown that genetic factors but also very early childhood experiences, sometimes even before the child is born, increase the risk for someone to belong to this group.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsChildren who commit antisocial behaviour from a young age often also have a lot of other problems. They are less well able to control their impulses. They act before thinking. They find it difficult to solve problems and also to show their emotions. Many of them drop out of school early, find it difficult to get a job. They end up in debt, and these things contribute to them ending up in crime, such as theft or vandalism or violence. Let's recap this.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 secondsMost antisocial behaviour is committed by teenagers, but amongst those we find two different groups, one large group who commits the antisocial behaviour for a short amount of time and grow out of it as they grow older, and a small group of teenagers who have already committed these behaviours as children and will continue to do so as adults. When we look at the first group, we see a balance between boys and girls. But when we look at the second group, those children who show antisocial behaviour from an early age, we see that many more boys than girls belong to it.

Skip to 2 minutes and 8 secondsScientists think that this might have to do with biological differences between boys and girls, such as the level of hormones, but they also think that it might have to do with the fact that boys more often have problems like ADHD that sometimes go in hand with antisocial behaviour.

Persistent antisocial behaviour

Antisocial behaviour occurs quite frequent among young people. Luckily, for most young people this is something temporary. In this video Tina Kretschmer explains that there is a small group of teenagers that will keep showing antisocial behaviour the rest of their lives.

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This video is from the free online course:

Young People and Their Mental Health

University of Groningen

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