How Marginal Deviations Sometimes Grow Into Serious Aggression.


Journal Article

We offer a theory of marginal deviations that articulates the processes through which initial behavior that is only slightly deviant from the norm gets transformed into more serious antisocial outcomes. We present evidence that, of the one third of the population that is marginally deviant, about one fourth (or 8% of the total population) becomes seriously deviant over time. Hypothesized factors in this transformation involve the child actor, peer observer-judges, and social transactions between them in processes that derive from self-fulfilling prophecies and dynamic systems theory. Hypotheses and studies are proposed to address the circumstances and processes that determine whether a marginal deviation will be bought back to the norm (through assimilation and attenuation) or accelerated to severe deviance (through accommodation and amplification).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Caprara, GV; Dodge, KA; Pastorelli, C; Zelli, A

Published Date

  • July 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 1 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 33 - 39

PubMed ID

  • 19774091

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19774091

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1750-8606

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1750-8592

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1750-8606.2007.00007.x


  • eng