psychology

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Background of the Study Antisocial behavior

Antisocial behavior is an old-aged notion even in the history of psychology and goes back to past years ago. Many scholars (Connor, Daniel f, 2002, Reid, John B.et.al, 2002, Walker, Hill M .et al 2004) have presented different definition of antisocial behavior, Antisocial behavior, manifested early in life, is a serious concern to society. Antisocial behavior can be conceptualized as outward behavior that either directly or indirectly harms others through the

Violation of important moral or social norms, and includes aggressive and delinquent acts (Barriga, Morrison et al., 2001; Liu, 2004).

There is a growing interest in behavioral problems in recent years, since these are detrimental to parent-child relationship, peer relationships, and can have a lasting impact on adolescence development.

Clark , Duncan B., et al ( 2004) suggested that as many as half of all elementary school children who demonstrate antisocial behavior patterns continue these behaviors into adolescence, and as many as 75 percent of adolescents who demonstrate antisocial behaviors continue to do so into early adulthood. Simonoff E, Elander J, Holmshaw J, PicklesA, Murray R, Rutter M (2004) in their research shows that disruptive behavior in childhood may have powerful long-term effects on adult antisocial outcomes .Farington and loeber (2000) in their 2000 report on children who do crime quote research stating that involvement in delinquency behavior predicts negative result later in adulthood.

It is essential to study delinquent behavior prior to middle (11-13) and late adolescence (14-18) and develop an understanding of factors that may be addressed to prevent early onset.

Patton & Viner,( 2007) demonstrated that , Adolescence is a period of changes and challenges, of experimentation and risk taking. . It is critical to collect information on problems that persist and those that resolve as individuals transition to adulthood.

Shannon j.D.Gan (2009) based on studies (Moffitt, 1993) have shown that adolescence is the period of the life with the highest incidence and prevalence of antisocial behavior. The incident of antisocial behavior is so common that investigators have been begun to label these acts a "normal part of teen life"

Jessor (1998) indicated that adolescents’ involvement in antisocial behavior and delinquency are among the risky behaviors that threatens the well-being of families and communities. Indeed, delinquency is known as the major factor in increasing the fiscal and social costs which as a result affect a nation’s economic progress (Delis, 2005).

Marvella A. Bowman · Hazel M. Prelow Scott R. Weaver (2007) based on studies (Lerner and Galambos, 1998 ) revealed that negative outcomes are increased in contemporary society by youth for example academic under achievement, substance use ,aggression and delinquency . An increasing amount of research has focused on adolescent’s antisocial behavior and delinquency, and with good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control 2004) , 33% of high school students were in a physical fight, 17% of high school students carried weapons to school, and 30% of high school students were victims of property theft and/or damage on school property.

Iran, as one of the societies facing the problematic issue of delinquency, reported an increasing number of cases displaying antisocial behavior. The statistics indicates that in 2010, the number of arrested and imprisoned adolescent has increased up to 0.22% (State prisons and security and corrective measures organization in Iran, 2010).

Mohammadi, (2006) stated that nowadays adolescent antisocial behavior is becoming worse in Iran, making it a worrying concern among the community. Mohammady’s study further declared that most common status offenses between adolescents are burglary, assault, vandalism, sexual behavior, selling drugs and addiction.

In fact, many studies concerning drug addiction and other risky behaviors on Iranian youths demonstrated family as one of the contributing factors to antisocial behavior. Since adolescents make up a major part of the society, a comprehensive understanding of their antisocial behavior is essential in the social context in which family is considered as a key system. Nevertheless, indicated that the roles of individual child characteristics, family relations, and extra familial factors (e.g., peers, school) in the development of antisocial behavior. (Citation S. T. Ronis · C. M. Borduin 2007) . However, any society, namely Iran, may confront problems of adolescent antisocial behavior. The situational context and attributes of a youth’s family also play a role in delinquent Behavior (Cantelon, 1994; Dishion et al., 1999; Loeber, 1982; Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1986; Patterson & Yoerger, 1993; Shader, 2001; Yoshikawa, 1994).

Author agrees that adolescent antisocial behavior is an active, versatile problem with a range of potential basic issues, such as school, neighborhood, individual peers and family. This is an important and fundamental step in attempting to deal with the problem of adolescent antisocial behavior as well as in trying to increase successive prevention and involvement attempts.

Studies of parent-child relationship show the importance of relationship children that encounters, and it changes as children develop. Parents help shape their children’s identity and usually provide nurturance and support from an early age. (Cummings.Davie&Campbell.2000)

In the past several decades; multiple family factors have been studied in organization with adolescent development. Parenting behavior is one of the family factors that accommodate a lot of attention. Parenting behaviors have regularly been linked to the psychosocial development of children and adolescents (e.g. Fletcher et al., 2004; Galambos et al., 2003). Two extensive classify have often been used to describe parenting behavior: support and control. (Forehand & Nousiainen, 1993; Gray & Steinberg, 1999; McCord, 1992), the accomplish of parental control depend on the meaning of control.

While authoritarian or restrictive control (i.e., control based on force, threat, or physical punishment) is regularly associated with negative developmental outcomes, authoritative control (i.e., control based on reasoning and explanation) is more often connected with positive outcomes (Gecas & Seff, 1990). Another direction of parental control that has often been studied in the background of adolescent development is monitoring (Bird et al., 2001; Forehand, Miller, Dutra, & Chance, 1997; Mounts, 2002). The concept of monitoring has become a subject of discuss. Whereas monitoring has long been conceptualized as an important protective appearance of parenting behavior, the work of Stattin and Kerr (2000) made it obvious that it is not so much the tracking and surveillance behavior of parents that is important but rather the child’s free exposure of information. They proposed that a good and trustworthy relationship with parents makes children be open to their parents about their lives. In this case, instead of being a measure of parenting behavior, disclosure (monitoring) is imagined as an indicator of the quality of the parent-child relationship. The quality of the parent-child relationship is a wider concept and more bidirectional in nature than the parenting behavior concept. Whereas parenting behavior refers to substantial, goal-directed practices of the parents in interaction with the child, through which parents arrange their parental responsibilities, the quality of the relationship surrounds the behavior of both the parent and the child and reflects a constellation of attitudes concerning each other that originated in the long history of the bond between the parent and the child (Dekovic, Janssens, & As, 2003). As it is, the quality of the relationship is considered to be fundamental to parenting practices (Dishion, French, & Patterson, 1995). Research appeared that a positive quality of the parent-child relationship functions as a buffer against the development of negative adolescent outcomes by assisting the internalization of parental values. (Dekovic , 1999b; Hawkins, Catalano, & Miller, 1992; Helsen,Vollebergh,&Meeus, 1999; Jessor, Bos,Vanderryn, Costa,&Turbin, 1995 ).

Recent evidence suggests that, substantial support has been found for a relationship between early parental care and the development of antisocial behavior in adolescence. That is, strong evidence has been obtained demonstrating the existence of a positive relationship between permissive and authoritarian parenting and antisocial behavior (Ehrensaft et al., 2003; Knutson, DeGarmo, & Reid, 2004; Narusyte, Andershed, Neiderhiser, & Lichtenstein, 2007; Reti et al., 2002; Roche, Ensminger, & Cherlin, 2007; Smith & Farrington, 2004; Thornberry, Freeman-Gallant, Lizotte, Krohn, & Smith, 2003).

The authors found that family functioning is another factor that refers to how a family behaves and interacts on a daily level. (Hayden, Schiller, Sameroff, Miller, Keitner & Rasmussen, 1998) .

The concept of family functioning defined by Epstein, Baldwin and Bishop (1983), as an extremely complex phenomenon that can be assessed in various ways (p.171), is generally known as the quality of family life at the systemic level such as wellness, competence, strengths, and weaknesses of a family (Shek 2002). Some other researchers measured this construct as a family strength, having higher scores to show more positive family functioning (Green, kolerzon, Vosler, 1985). A group of scholars have suggested that the influence of family functioning, which has been repeated, shows to be one of the strongest predictors of risk for antisocial behavior (Gorman-Smith, Tolan, Zelli, Huesmann, 1996; Loeber, & Dishion, 1983; McCord, 1991, Taha et al., 2004). Accordingly, family relationships at the systemic level affect the adolescent’s adjustment.

A well-functioning family successfully completes family tasks and promotes the growth and wellbeing of each member (Walsh, 2003). A well-functioning family is not without problems or conflicts, but it is how the family problem solves to resolve the conflict that is important (Walsh, 2003). The family is continuously changing and has to adapt to the different developmental stages of the members. The family is complex and has many differing facets. The family is influenced by cultural, societal, religious, and generational norms (Walsh, 2003). Understanding how the family influence adolescent’s involvement in delinquency is significant, since family plays major roles in adolescent’s life. Within the broad literature on

Family variables that influence conduct problems, researchers have identified harsh discipline, parental maladjustment, low parental monitoring, and marital discord to be associated with the development of behavioral problems (Haddad, Barocas, & Hollenbeck, 1991; Kendziora & O'Leary, 1992; Kilgore, 2000; McCoy, 2002; Patterson et al, 1992, Wasserman, Miller Pinner, & Jaramilo, 1996).

The authors found that peer group is another factor in attitudes toward deviance affect a youth’s own attitudes and, in turn, behavior. (Warr and Stafford, 1991) Furthermore, they found a strong, direct effect for peer behavior on individual delinquency. They concluded that although peer attitudes matter, their behavior is more important in predicting delinquency.

While children enter adolescence, it is often assumed that the influence of parents on problem behavior of their children decreases, mainly due to the rising counter influence of peers. Early adolescents spend an increasing amount of time with peers without adult supervision (Laird, Pettit, Dodge, & Bates, 1998; Mounts & Steinberg, 1995). It is a time when adolescents’ relationships are changing; they expand their peer and social networks, which affects their relationships within their families (e.g., increased involvement in peer activities rather than family activities; greater autonomy), and experience unique environmental characteristics in school. (Nansel et al., 2001; Stevens, DeBourdeaudhuij, & Van Oost, 2002) .

Christopher j sullivan (2006) based on (Matsueda & Anderson, 1998; Matsueda & Heimer, 1987; Shader, 2001; Warr & Stafford, 1991) in his studies stated that, Following childhood, peer groups become very important in contributing to the behavior of youth. As youth age, they will naturally spend more time outside the home with people other than their immediate family. One consistent finding in studies of delinquency is the relationship between peer influence and delinquent behavior. In a study utilizing data from the National Youth Survey (NYS), bonding to delinquent peers was found to be a proximate cause of drug use (Elliott, Huizinga, & Ageton, 1982). Indeed, Warr (2002) has called peer influence the “principal proximate cause” of delinquency (p. 136).

Marvell A. Bowman · Hazel M. Prelow Scott R. Weaver (2007) based on studies (Patterson GR, DeBaryche BD, Ramsey E (1989) argue that the peer group is an important training ground for delinquent acts and substance use, as peers often supply the adolescent with the attitudes, motivations, and rationalizations to support antisocial behavior and provide opportunities to engage in specific delinquent acts.

Kiesner and Massimiliano (2005) examined the hypothesis that during adolescence, antisocial behavior is positively related to peer acceptance. They investigated both classroom and out of classroom peer interactions. They found that in the sixth grade, antisocial behavior was negatively associated with classroom peer preference, but not significantly related to out of class peer inclusions. However, later, by the eighth grade, antisocial behavior was positively related to out of class peer inclusion, but not significantly related to classroom peer preference.

Youths’ friendships have been of interest to many scholars examining antisocial behaviors of young people. Demuth (2004) reported that those youths who don’t have any friend exhibit delinquent behavior, regardless of not having friends who organize themselves around such activities. Demuth’s study fills in a gap in research concerning the relationship of youth peer interactions and delinquency. Dishion, Nelson and Yasui’s (2004) conducted a research on determining whether youth’s risks for maladaptation would be increased by friendship dynamics that were organized around deviance. The results of this study indicated differences between adjusted and antisocial youths in relation to their friendship dynamics, in a way that those who are well accustomed have “known friendships” longer, and that antisocial youths were more likely to spend more time with their friends.

Vitaro, Brendgen and Tremblay (2000) examined the variable of one’s best friend’s deviance to observe whether it was a moderator to their deviance in early adolescence. This study found that a best friend’s deviance and also other youth’s friends notably can predict adolescent delinquency. Having other non-deviant mutual friends was associated with lower levels of delinquency in comparison to having other deviant mutual friends. Bernburg, Krohn and Rivera (2006) reported that young people who become publically labeled as negative or criminal are at high risk of associating with deviant peers.

The present study intends to demonstrate the most important factors in affecting adolescent problem behavior in Iranian adolescence. This research tries to demonstrate the relationship between family functioning and peer affiliation and antisocial behavior among adolescents in Tehran. In this work, it is expected that peer pressure will demonstrate a positive relationship with delinquency and antisocial behavior.

Statement of the Problem

There has been a long tradition of studying criminal and antisocial behavior within the sciences. Antisocial behavior has been known as the main concern among family and social educators, for years. It is important to note, however, that some engagement with externalizing behavior during adolescence is not atypical; youth on this “adolescent-limited” pathway of externalizing problems occasionally engage in low levels of delinquent acts during the teen years, but typically discontinue such antisocial behaviors by the emerging adult years (Moffitt, 2003).

Family as the smallest unit of a society is formed by a man and a woman and would be completed later by children; the environment in which children are to be brought up in order to keep the society productive is a real point of concern. Therefore, the upbringing procedures of families need to be reconsidered. Antisocial behavior is depended on a variety of difficulties such as cultural, social, economical problems and so on. Extensive research indicates that adolescence is a time of vulnerability to the multiple biological, cognitive, and social changes and stressors during this period. Adolescence is the period of the life span with the highest incidence and prevalence of antisocial behavior. Shannon j.D.Gan (2009) based on researches (Jacobson, Prescott, & Kendler, 2002; Scholte, 1999) reported that nearly 80% of adolescents engage in some form of antisocial behavior.

Family is the most initial section to lead or prevent the youth of this phenomena. Being social creatures, human beings are in touch with the thoughts, attitudes and behaviors of the surrounding classmates, friends and colleagues of theirs and by taking all these ideas and attitudes for granted people make behavior patterns for themselves. If we are entangled with juvenile antisocial behavior, family may play an important role in this regard, for family functions as the entrance gate of the society for children.

In Iran, in contrast to modern and industrial societies family has an important and prominent role in adolescent socialization .The children and adolescent affect more than other social factors. One of the most important factors in family functioning is training and children socialization. Any dysfunction in the structure of the family has unfavorable and irreparable effects on normal children and make interruption in their personality growth .That is why the studies on adolescent antisocial behavior are shown to be inextricably bound up with family environment and family dysfunction .Navabinejad, (2007) pointed out that unhealthy family is possibly responsible for adolescent antisocial behavior. However, the effectiveness of peer’ behavior on the youth can be considered as a second important factor.

Therefore, youth’s attitudes in these two factors needs to be investigated while a number of investigators and researchers believe that despite the great developments in science and technology that we observe, prevention of juvenile antisocial behavior has not been seriously taken into consideration. Based on the present documents and the studies that have been conducted throughout the globe, adolescent antisocial behavior is a phenomenon that has affected each and every society and there is no society around the world that is yet untouched by this social difficulty. The nature of juvenile delinquency and anti-social behavior is becoming more important than an ordinary issue in today’s society (Dembo et al., 2007).

According to the 2002 Juvenile Crime Report, adolescent arrests decreased by 11% (Dembo et al., 2007; Snyder, 2004). In 2003, around 18% of all United States students in the age range of 12 to 14 years of age admit to binge drinking where binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks in one sitting (Miller et al., 2007). Three years later in 2006, it was found that 73% of 16-year-olds have experimented with alcohol and 56% of this population has been intoxicated at least once in their lifetime (Johnston et al., 2007).

Antisocial behavior must be considered as a lake of sociability which originates from the inner motives and personal attitudes while at the same time is influenced by social and environmental factors as well.

Nowadays it is proofed that not only the environmental factors but the age in which a person is born and grown up can be effective in this sense.(Baseri,mohsen,2006 ).

The basic factors that may reinforce adolescent antisocial behavior are the relation and communications inside the family, the relationship between the parents, and the relationships of the youth with their peer, the way they are being brought up and family tensions ,stealing, intentional maim, breaking traffic rules, begging, addiction to alcohol and drug of any kind are considered as some forms of adolescent antisocial behavior in many different societies. A number of experts consider social and more important than that family factors such as type of education, having no protector, malformation in families, living with step parents as the main factors that may cause adolescent antisocial behavior.

Several researches have been conducted to find out the relationship between families and the companions of the youth. Navabinejad ,(2007) what needs further investigations is the study of adolescent antisocial behavior on Iranian adolescents. There maintains to be a need for Iranian scholars to observe family context features in today's families. In view of this information gap, it seems study the function of family functioning to antisocial behavior is essential. Still, some aspects of this relationship are not as clear, particularly the relationship between family functioning and behavioral problem. This research will lead comprehending of probable categories of family functioning in the Iranian families. Therefore, comprehending more about the Iranian adolescent's connection and awareness of family functioning can offer a basis for creating detailed intervention strategies that may be very useful for families to better care for their adolescents.


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