The utility of differentiating between mixed and pure forms of antisocial child behavior

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1985 Jun;13(2):315-35. doi: 10.1007/BF00910651.


This study examined the utility of classifying boys on the basis of a typology of antisocial behavior. A group of 195 boys, aged 10-17, was divided into four mutually exclusive groups based on their pattern of antisocial behavior. Stealing and fighting were chosen as criteria to define the four groups: boys who fought but did not steal (Exclusive Fighter Group), boys who stole but did not fight (Exclusive Theft Group), boys who stole and fought (Versatile Antisocial Group), and boys who did neither (Remaining Group). A multimethod-multirespondent study of these boys showed that the Exclusive Fighter Group tended to score high on a range of overt antisocial behaviors and were relatively little involved in delinquency; the Exclusive Theft Group tended to score high on some overt antisocial behaviors and were much involved in delinquency; Versatile Antisocial youths scored highest among all groups on almost all overt and covert antisocial behaviors, and in terms of delinquent acts. The Versatile boys came from families with the most disturbed child-rearing practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child Rearing
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Theft