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Evaluative behavioral judgments and instrumental antisocial behaviors in children and adolescents
Clinical Psychology Review (2006)
  • Reid G. Fontaine, University of Arizona
There is a growing body of scientific research that has drawn a distinction between instrumental (or proactive) and reactive forms of aggressive behavior in children and adolescents. Whereas neurocognitive, psychophysiological, and other psychological factors have been shown to distinguish these aggressive subtypes, social cognitive research on alternative types of instrumental antisocial behavior (e.g., stealing, cheating, and illicit substance use) in youth is limited. Research on social information processing and aggression has shown that evaluative behavioral judgments may be of particular importance to understanding instrumental antisocial tendencies. Herein presented is a review of research on social cognition and discernible forms of instrumental antisocial behavior. It is demonstrated that, consistent with social cognitive research on proactive aggression, the relevance of a specific set of evaluative behavioral judgments appears to be common to alternative patterns of instrumental antisocial conduct. Conclusions may have particular importance for (a) research on the development of discernible instrumental antisocial trajectories, (b) clinical intervention, and (c) the formulation of a conceptual model of instrumental antisocial decision-making.
  • Instrumental antisocial behavior,
  • Social cognition,
  • Children,
  • Adolescents,
  • Decision making
Publication Date
Citation Information
Reid G. Fontaine. "Evaluative behavioral judgments and instrumental antisocial behaviors in children and adolescents" Clinical Psychology Review Vol. 26 Iss. 8 (2006)
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