Skip main navigation

Why do teenagers behave more antisocial than others?

In this video Tina Kretschmer will go into the explanations that teenagers show more antisocial behaviour than other age groups in more detail.
TINA KRETSCHMER: Let’s see what researches think why teenagers behave more anti-social than other age groups. Let’s take the brain first. When entering adolescence, a lot of changes take place in the connections between the different brain parts and also in the balance of the chemicals that regulate our emotions and our behaviour. During the time that an individual moves or the individual brain moves from the child’s state to the adult state, those connections and the balances between the chemicals are a little bit off. This is a bit of a problem because these chemicals and the connections enable us to regulate our behaviours and our emotions. However, the brain is not the only problem.
Researchers also find that adolescents, although they are biologically already quite mature, they are legally and financially still dependent on their parents and have to listen to their parents and to other adults. This difference between being biologically mature and legally and financially not, it’s called the maturity gap. And this maturity gap has been held responsible as well for the peak in anti-social behaviour in adolescence. The third factor that is held responsible for adolescent anti-social behaviour are peers. Researchers believe that no other age group is as easily influenced by others, by their friends, than as adolescents. It is very important for them to be popular among others, to belong to a group or to a clique.
This means that if peers engage in anti-social behaviour, teenagers will very much likely go along with that and also show anti-social behaviour or minor crimes. In summary, adolescents who show anti-social behaviour might be more inclined to take risks and are less shy. But this is not always the case. In summary, adolescents might experiment with anti-social behaviour, and this is due to a range of individual and social factors. But most of them grow up and grow out of this behaviour and stick to the rules and the law.

In the previous step some possible explanations were given about why teenagers show more antisocial behaviour than children or adults. In this video Tina Kretschmer will go into these explanations in more detail.

This article is from the free online

Young People and Mental Health

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education