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Chapter 8

Psychology 2042A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Antisocial Personality Disorder, Relational Aggression, Nondestructive Testing

Course Code
Richard Brown

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Psych 2042A
Chapter 8: Conduct Problems
in this chapter and Chapter 9, we discuss problems that are externalizing
these problems tend to place youth in trouble with their peers
terms that are used to describe these problems are: disruptive, impulsive,
undercontrolled, oppositional, antisocial, conduct-disordered, and delinquent
this chapter is focused on aggression, oppositional behaviours, and more serious
conduct problems - Chapter 9 focuses on hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity
Classification and Description
common complaints of noncompliant, aggressive, and antisocial behaviour
parents and teachers describe them as individuals who do not follow instructions, do
not comply with requests or seem irritable or angry
adolescents may engage in dangerous behaviour and use illegal substances
distress for family and teachers, create discord among family members, or interfere
with classroom functioning.
there seems to be a persistence with the behaviours from childhood and adulthood
Figure 8-1 (p.191) provides the types of conduct behaviours that are described as
problematic and aversive and the DSM disorders associated with them
DSM Approach: Overview
in the section of Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, and
Adolescence, the DSM has a category of Attention-Deficit and Disruptive Behaviour
ADHD discussed in Chapter 9 and diagnoses of Oppositional Defiant Disorders and
Conduct Disorder, which are discussed in this chapter
Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD): individual display a persistent pattern of
aggressive and antisocial behaviour after the age of 18
“a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others”
individuals with APD may also display psychopathy - an interpersonal trait defined
by characteristics such as deceitfulness, callousness, lack of remorse, and
requires that the pattern had to be present at the age of 15, with the evidence that
they met the criteria for Conduct Disorder before age 15
youngsters who receive the diagnosis of APD as adults show signs of psychopathy
(callous/unemotional traits) during their youth
callous/unemotional traits: displaying shallow emotions, lacking anxiety and
empathy, and feeling little or no guilt.
DSM Approach: Oppositional Defiant Disorder
young children are often stubborn and do not comply with requests or directions
not all such behaviour is indicative or predictive of clinical problems
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD): described as a pattern of negativistic, hostile,
and defiant behaviour that is developmentally extreme.
behaviours include: loses temper, argues with adults, actively defies or refuses to
comply with adult requests or rules, deliberately annoys others, blames others for

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own mistakes or misbehaviour, is touchy or easily annoyed, is angry and resentful,
is spiteful or vindictive
behaviour must be judged to occur more frequently than is typical for a child of
comparable age.
behaviours cause impairment in social or academic functioning
ODD is more common among clinic-referred children
noncompliant, stubborn, and oppositional defiant behaviour may represent for some
youngsters the earliest steps on a developmental path of persistent antisocial
DSM Approach: Conduct Disorder
Conduct Disorder: represents more seriously aggressive and antisocial behaviours
aggression towards people and animals (bullies, threatens, initiates fights, has
used a weapon, physically cruel to people/animals, forced someone into sexual
activity, stolen while confronting a victim)
destruction of property (fire setting w/ the intention of causing damage, other ways
of destroying other peopleʼs property)
deceitfulness or theft (has broken into a house/building/car, often lies to avoid
obligations or to obtain goods or favours, stolen items without confronting a victim)
serious violations of rules (stays out at night despite parental prohibitions before
age 13, run away from home overnight at least twice, truant from school before 13)
DSM Approach requires that 3 or more behaviours from one of the categories above
should be present during the past 12 months, with at least one of them present in the
past 6 months.
behaviour causes impairment in social or academic functioning
2 subtypes: based on whether one or more of the behaviours had on onset prior to
age 10
since there is a wide variety of behaviours, diagnosis of Conduct Disorder may
represent a heterogenous group of youths with different subtypes
Empirically Derived Syndromes
empirically derived syndrome involving aggressive, oppositional, destructive, and
antisocial behaviour
syndrome has also been called externalizing, undercontrolled, or conduct disorder
efforts have been made to make this syndrome narrower - Achenbach and
Rescorla (2001) described 2 syndromes: aggressive behaviour and rule-
breaking behaviour (see Table 8.3 p.195)
research suggests that there is a higher degree of heritability for the aggressive
than for the rule-breaking syndrome
developmental differences between the syndromes - average scores of the 2
syndromes declined between age 4-10, and after age 10, the scores on the
aggressive syndrome continued to decline, whereas scores of the delinquent (rule-
breaking) syndrome, increased

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authors of the study found that the stability (similarity of a particular individualʼs
behaviour at two points in time) was higher for the aggressive than for the
delinquent (rule-breaking) syndrome
adolescent-onset category consisted of principally nonaggressive and rule-
breaking behaviours, and an early-onset category includes these behaviours WITH
aggressive behaviours
the salient symptom approach is based on the primary behaviour problem being
distinguish between antisocial children whose primary problem is aggression
from those whose primary problem is stealing
salient symptom approach suggests a broader distinction between overt
confrontational antisocial behaviour (fighting, tantrums) and covert antisocial
behaviour (fire setting, lying, stealing, truancy)
further expansion of this approach is grouping the over-covert behaviour into
destructive and nondestructive dimension of behaviour (see Fig.8-3 p.197)
i.e. overt-destructive: cruel to animals, spiteful, assault, fights, bullies
i.e. overt-nondestructive: temper tantrums, argues, annoys others, stubborn
i.e. covert-destructive: fire setting, vandalism, steals
i.e. covert-nondestructive: runs away, truancy, substance use, swears
Gender Differences: Relational Aggression
gender differences exists in prevelance, developmental course, and factors and
processes that contribute to the development of conduct problems
most basic aspect of gender differences is the way that conduct problems are
expressed in boys and girls - most of the research has been conducted with male
Crick and colleagues stated the general definition of aggression as intent to hurt or
harm others- aggression is typical overt physical or verbal behaviours
noted that during early and middle childhood, peer interactions tend to be
segregated by gender
therefore, childʼs aggression would focus on social issues most salient in same-
gender peer groups
boys have the characteristics of instrumentality and physical dominance
girls are more focused on developing close dyadic relationships - girls are more
prone to relational aggression (hurt the feelings or damage a friendship):
purposely making some feel left out
getting mad at another person and excluding them from the peer group
telling a person you will not like him or her unless they do what you say
saying mean things or lying about the person so others wont like them
relational aggression may fit in the the realm of covert antisocial behaviour-
found through preschool and adolescence
relational aggression is associated with peer rejection, depression, anxiety, and
feelings of loneliness and isolation
youth who exhibit gender nonnormative forms of aggression (i.e. boys exhibit
relational aggression; girls who are overtly aggressive), exhibit more behaviour
problems than those who engage in gender normative aggression or
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