Though it is never too late to intervene, researchers warn that if by age eight a child has not learned ways other than coercion to meet his social goals, he has a high chance of continuing with antisocial behavior throughout his lifetime.
For those adolescents who have both AD/HD and a conduct disorder, up to 25 percent go on to develop antisocial personality disorder and the criminal behavior, substance abuse, and high rate of suicide attempts that are symptomatic of it.
Although antisocial personality disorder is only diagnosed in people over age 18, the symptoms are similar to those of conduct disorder, and the criteria for diagnosis include the onset of conduct disorder before the age of 15.
School-based programs from early childhood onward that teach conflict resolution, emotional literacy, and anger management skills have been shown to interrupt the development of antisocial behavior in low-risk students.
Antisocial behaviors exist along a severity continuum and include repeated violations of social rules, defiance of authority and of the rights of others, deceitfulness, theft, and reckless disregard for self and others.
Exaggeration and embellishment when relating incidents or telling stories, and the so-called "white lies," told to avoid disappointing or hurting others feelings, do not have the negative, antisocial consequences of serious lying.
Multiple risk factors for development and persistence of antisocial behaviors include genetic, neurobiological, and environmental stressors beginning at the prenatal stage and often continuing throughout the childhood years.
However, research relating the use of violent video games with antisocial behavior is inconsistent and varies in design and quality, with findings of both increased and decreased aggression after exposure to violent video games.
Antisocial behavior can be broken down into two components: the presence of antisocial (i.e., angry, aggressive, or disobedient) behavior and the absence of prosocial (i.e., communicative, affirming, or cooperative) behavior.
The most important goals of treating antisocial behavior are to measure and describe the individual child's or adolescent's actual problem behaviors and to effectively teach him or her the positive behaviors that should be adopted instead.