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date: 27 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes research supporting a stage model for the progression of antisocial behavior from early childhood through late adolescence. Early coercion within the family leads to growth in a child’s oppositional behavior, which in turn undermines school readiness and can precipitate early influence of deviant peers. Antisocial behaviors in middle childhood are prognostic of deviant peer group association in early adolescence. Involvement with deviant peers and deviancy training in adolescence account for the progression from antisocial behavior to violence, arrests, and multiple forms of problem behavior. The chapter reviews randomized intervention studies that have shown that parent management training leads to reduced coercion, increased positive interactions with parents, less deviant peer involvement, and ultimately, fewer serious antisocial behaviors in adolescence. In this sense, application of the coercion model to understanding and changing antisocial behavior is one of the few success stories of a translational research enterprise.

Keywords: coercion theory, change, antisocial behavior, childhood, adolescence

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