Antisocial behavior covers a wide range of actions that either cause harm or lack basic consideration for others. At its most basic level, antisocial behavior is anything that goes against the prevailing cultural norms. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, states that persistent antisocial behaviors are classified as part of antisocial personality disorder.
For the most part, antisocial behaviors are disruptive acts that are characterized by either covert or overt hostility, and may also include aggressive actions towards others. Like all personality traits, antisocial behavior exists along a spectrum. Examples of covert antisocial behaviors range from the mild, such as a noncompliance or lying, to the more extreme, such as destroying property. Overt examples of antisocial behavior include aggression, verbal abuse or bullying.
For the most part, antisocial behaviors are shaped within the family dynamic, as well as the community and educational environment. High-risk factors in the family include a parental history of antisocial behaviors, parental drug and/or alcohol abuse, an unstable home life, and the absence of good parenting skills.
Many treatment options exist for antisocial behavior, with most focused on childhood intervention. There are school-based programs in conflict resolution. However, the longer antisocial behaviors remain untreated, the more ingrained they become in the person.