Antisocial behaviour

Hoodie in estateProfessor Per- Olof Wikström, at the University of Cambridge, found in his research that those with low crime propensity (strong morality and ability to exercise self-control) were immune to influences of settings likely to produce criminality, while those with high crime propensity (weak morality and poor self-control) were vulnerable to such influences.

Research by Professor Essi Viding at the University College London suggests that early psychopathic tendencies in children may be inherited, and these individuals also display antisocial behaviour. The research recommends a focus on early interventions, such as family support and pre-school education to improve outcomes.

The Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society recently developed an innovative and highly cost-effective social marketing intervention with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, tackling the problem of deliberate setting of grassfires in the South Wales Valleys communities. Based on comparison with historic trends and difference from the control community the intervention led to a 31 per cent fire reduction over two weeks and 46 per cent over six weeks, significant reduction in all antisocial behaviour, and strengthening of relationships between the Fire Service and the local community.

Professor Kath Kiernan and colleagues, using the UK Millennium Cohort Study and the US Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, found that parents' relationship status was important for children's cognitive and emotional development, with single mothers and their children tending to have the lowest levels of wellbeing. They found that children born to unmarried parents have more externalizing problems (aggressive, low attention) and worse cognitive outcomes than children born to married parents.

Further research on parenting using the Millennium Cohort Studies by Professors Kiernan and Hobcraft has shown that good parenting can mitigate the effects of persistent poverty and family disadvantage.