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Ratings of Social and Anti-Social Behaviour (Aggression)

User Information
Anti-social and behaviour and aggression have been shown to be a major risk factor for drug use. The strongest indicators of such behaviour involve ratings rather than self-reports. The rating scale below is meant for someone familiar with a child/adolescent's behaviour (e.g. a teacher). It is based on the finding that various dimensions show strong relationships with anti-social behaviour over the years.
Relevant Studies
Substance use and other problem behaviours
Elliott, D.S., Huizinaga, D., & Menard, S. (1989). Multiple problem youth: Delinquency, substance use and mental health problems. New York: Springer-Verlag.

The social control theory of Elliott and his colleagues is based in large part on classic sociological theories of control which argue that deviant impulses all people presumably share are held in check by strong bonds to conventional society, families, schools, and religions. However, adolescents who have weak conventional bonds are thought not feel controlled or compelled to adhere to conventional standards of behaviour. This theory focuses on three possible causes of weak commitments to conventional society: (i) strain (discrepancy between adolescents aspirations and opportunities, (ii) social disorganisation, that is the weakness of established institutions, and (iii) ineffective socialisation into conventional society.

Problem behaviour among youth including substance use
Jessor, R., Donovan, J.E., & Costa, F.M. (1991). Beyond adolescence: Problem behaviour and young adult development. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Problem behaviour theory asserts that adolescents who are prone to one problem behaviour (marijuana use0 are also prone to other forms of problem behaviour (e.g. delinquency). In line with this the findings suggest that adolescents who use illegal substances are more likely to use alcohol, be sexually active, engage in petty crimes, truancy, fighting and parental defiance. One of the central contentions of problem behaviour theory is that adolescents are at risk for ESU if they are unattached to their parents, are close to their peers and are more influenced by their peers than their parents.

Overview of adolescent drug use
Petraitis, J., Flay, B.R., & Miller, T.Q. (1995). Reviewing theories of adolescent substance use: Organising pieces in the puzzle. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 67-96.

This article reviews several theories of experimental drug use among adolescents include those that emphasise (i) substance-specific cognitions, (ii) social learning processes, (iii) commitment to conventional values and attachment to families, and (iv) interpersonal processes. The paper addressed the similarities and differences between the various explanations and examines the conceptual boundaries of each one. The paper attempts to integrate the existing explanations by organising their central constructs into three distinct types of influence (social, attitudinal and interpersonal) and three distinct levels of influence (viz. proximal, distal and ultimate).

Page last updated: Wednesday, 21 July 2004