Life-Course-Persistent versus Adolescence-Limited Antisocial Behavior


Book Section

© 2006 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved. This chapter reviews 10 years of research into a developmental taxonomy of antisocial behavior that proposed two primary hypothetical prototypes: life-course-persistent versus adolescence-limited offenders. According to the taxonomic theory, life-course-persistent offenders' antisocial behavior has its origins in neurodevelopmental processes; it begins in childhood and continues persistently thereafter. In contrast, adolescence- limited offenders' antisocial behavior has its origins in social processes; it begins in adolescence and desists in young adulthood. Life-course-persistent antisocial behavior originates early in life, when the difficult behavior of a high-risk young child is exacerbated by a high-risk social environment. The chapter presents four groups of existing studies, which suggests that the pattern of antisocial behavior that begins early in life, is pervasive across settings, is characterized by aggressive personality traits, includes physical aggression, and persists into adulthood is associated with relatively more genetic influence than is the pattern of later-onset, situational, transient delinquency.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moffitt, TE

Published Date

  • January 1, 2006

Volume / Issue

  • 3 /

Book Title

  • Developmental Psychopathology: Second Edition

Start / End Page

  • 570 - 598

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780471237389

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/9780470939406.ch15

Citation Source

  • Scopus