Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 234
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Begotti, Tatiana Tirassa, Maurizio and Acquadro Maran, Daniela 2016. School bullying episodes: attitudes and intervention in pre-service and in-service Italian teachers. Research Papers in Education, p. 1.

    Cassidy, Adam R. 2016. Executive function and psychosocial adjustment in healthy children and adolescents: A latent variable modelling investigation. Child Neuropsychology, Vol. 22, Issue. 3, p. 292.

    Rivers, Louie Gibbs, Carole and Paternoster, Raymond 2016. Integrating Criminological and Decision Research Theory: Implications for Understanding and Addressing Crime in Marginalized Communities. Deviant Behavior, p. 1.

    Stewart, Lynn A. Wilton, Geoff and Sapers, Jeremy 2016. Offenders with Cognitive Deficits in a Canadian Prison Population: Prevalence, Profile, and Outcomes. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Vol. 44, p. 7.

    Ttofi, Maria M. Farrington, David P. Piquero, Alex R. Lösel, Friedrich DeLisi, Matthew and Murray, Joseph 2016. Intelligence as a protective factor against offending: A meta-analytic review of prospective longitudinal studies. Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 45, p. 4.

    Graziano, Paulo A. Bagner, Daniel M. Slavec, Janine Hungerford, Gabriela Kent, Kristine Babinski, Dara Derefinko, Karen and Pasalich, Dave 2015. Feasibility of Intensive Parent–Child Interaction Therapy (I-PCIT): Results from an Open Trial. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, Vol. 37, Issue. 1, p. 38.

    January, Alicia M. Bartoi, Marla G. Kuentzel, Jeffrey G. Somers, Cheryl L. and Barnett, Douglas 2015. Tell Me More About It: A Query into the Relations Between Intelligence Scores and Problem Behaviors Using the WISC-IV. Journal of Child and Family Studies, Vol. 24, Issue. 9, p. 2544.

    Monette, Sébastien Bigras, Marc and Guay, Marie-Claude 2015. Executive functions in kindergarteners with high levels of disruptive behaviours. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Vol. 33, Issue. 4, p. 446.

    Shon, Phillip Chong Ho and Barton-Bellessa, Shannon 2015. The assumption of rational choice theory in Alfred Adler's theory of crime: Unraveling and reconciling the contradiction in Adlerian theory through synthesis and critique. Aggression and Violent Behavior, Vol. 25, p. 95.

    Vaidyanathan, Uma Vrieze, Scott I. and Iacono, William G. 2015. The Power of Theory, Research Design, and Transdisciplinary Integration in Moving Psychopathology Forward. Psychological Inquiry, Vol. 26, Issue. 3, p. 209.

    White, Stuart F. and Blair, James R. 2015. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences.

    Wiebe, Sandra A. Clark, Caron A. C. De Jong, Desiree M. Chevalier, Nicolas Espy, Kimberly Andrews and Wakschlag, Lauren 2015. Prenatal tobacco exposure and self-regulation in early childhood: Implications for developmental psychopathology. Development and Psychopathology, Vol. 27, Issue. 02, p. 397.

    Aarne, Päivikki Almkvist, Ove Mothander, Pia Risholm and Tallberg, Ing-Mari 2014. Parent-rated socio-emotional development in children with language impairment in comparison with typically developed children. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, Vol. 11, Issue. 3, p. 279.

    de la Osa, Nuria Granero, Roser Penelo, Eva and Ezpeleta, Lourdes 2014. Usefulness of the Social and Communication Disorders Checklist (SCDC) for the Assessment of Social Cognition in Preschoolers. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, Vol. 30, Issue. 4, p. 296.

    Haney-Caron, Emily Caprihan, Arvind and Stevens, Michael C. 2014. DTI-measured white matter abnormalities in adolescents with Conduct Disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research, Vol. 48, Issue. 1, p. 111.

    Lafortune, Denis and Meilleur, Dominique 2014. Medically Defining, Screening, and Treating Conduct Disorder: A French Controversy. Journal of Child and Family Studies, Vol. 23, Issue. 4, p. 728.

    Le Corff, Yann and Toupin, Jean 2014. Overt Versus Covert Conduct Disorder Symptoms and the Prospective Prediction of Antisocial Personality Disorder. Journal of Personality Disorders, Vol. 28, Issue. 6, p. 864.

    Morris, N. Keane, S. Calkins, S. Shanahan, L. and O'Brien, M. 2014. Differential components of reactivity and attentional control predicting externalizing behavior. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Vol. 35, Issue. 3, p. 121.

    Piehler, Timothy F. Bloomquist, Michael L. August, Gerald J. Gewirtz, Abigail H. Lee, Susanne S. and Lee, Wendy S. C. 2014. Executive Functioning as a Mediator of Conduct Problems Prevention in Children of Homeless Families Residing in Temporary Supportive Housing: A Parallel Process Latent Growth Modeling Approach. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Vol. 42, Issue. 5, p. 681.

    Robinson, Michael D. and Bresin, Konrad 2014. Higher Levels of Psychopathy Predict Poorer Motor Control: Implications for Understanding the Psychopathy Construct. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, Vol. 36, Issue. 2, p. 201.


The neuropsychology of conduct disorder

  • Terrie E. Moffitt (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 31 October 2008

This article reviews evidence from neuropsychological tests that brain dysfunction is a correlate of conduct disorder. Most studies report consistent findings of differential neuropsychological deficits for antisocial samples in verbal and “executive” functions. Neuropsychological measures are related to some of the best indicators of poor outcome for children with conduct symptoms, such as early onset, stability across time, hyperactive symptoms, and aggressiveness. Neuropsychological tests statistically predict variance in antisocial behavior independently of appropriate control variables. This article argues that neuropsychological variables warrant further study as possible causal factors for conduct disorder and presents one developmental perspective on how neuropsychological problems might contribute risk for conduct disorder.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

G. V. Barrett , & R. L. Depinet (1991). A reconsideration of testing for competence rather than for intelligence. American Psychologist, 46, 10121024.

R. Q. Bell , & M. Chapman (1986). Child effects in studies using experimental or brief longitudinal approaches to socialization. Developmental Psychology, 22, 595603.

A. Berman , & A. W. Siegal (1976). Adaptive and learning skills in juvenile delinquents: A neuropsychological analysis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 9, 5158.

I. B. Borecki , & G. C. Ashton (1984). Evidence for a major gene influencing performance on a vocabulary test. Behavior Genetics, 14, 6380.

A. S. Brickman , M. M. McManus , W. L. Grapentine , & N. Alessi (1984). Neuropsychological assessment of seriously delinquent adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 23, 453457.

D. M. Buss (1981). Predicting parent-child interactions from children's activity level. Developmental Psychology, 17, 5965.

D. M. Buss , J. H. Block , & J. Block (1980). Preschool activity level: Personality correlates and developmental implications. Child Development, 51, 401408.

B. Camp (1977). Verbal mediation in young aggressive boys. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 86, 145153.

D. Farrington , L. Ohlin , & J. Q. Wilson (1986). Understanding and controlling crime. New York: Springer-Verlag.

C. A. Fogel , S. A. Mednick , & N. Michelson (1985). Minor physical anomalies and hyperactivity. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 72, 551556.

W. N. Friedrich , & J. A. Boriskin (1976). The role of the child in abuse. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 46, 580590.

A. M. Frodi , M. E. Laub , L. E. Leavitt , W. L. Donovan , C. Neff , & D. Sherry (1978). Fathers' and mothers' responses to the faces and cries of normal and premature infants. Developmental Psychology, 14, 490498.

L. A. Frost , T. E. Moffitt , & R. McGee (1989). Neuropsychological function and psychopathology in an unselected cohort of young adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 98, 307313.

E. E. Gorenstein (1982). Frontal lobe functions in psychopaths. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 91, 368379.

E. E. Gorenstein , & J. P. Newman (1980). Disinhibitory psychopathology: A new perspective and a model for research. Psychological Review, 87, 301315.

J. P. Haynes , & M. Bensch (1981). The P > V sign of the WISC-R and recidivism in delinquents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 49, 480481.

S. P. Hinshaw (1992). Externalizing behavior problems and academic underachievement in childhood and adolescence: Causal relationships and underlying mechanisms. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 127155.

T. Hirschi , & M. J. Hindelang (1977). Intelligence and delinquency: A revisionist review. American Sociological Review, 42, 571587.

I. Hurwitz , R. M. A. Bibace , P. H. Wolff , & B. M. Rowbotham (1972). Neurological function of normal boys, delinquent boys, and boys with learning problems. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 35, 387394.

S. R. Kaler , & C. B. Kopp (1990). Compliance and comprehension in very young toddlers. Child Development, 61, 19972003.

E. Kandel , & S. A. Mednick (1991). Perinatal complications predict violent offending. Criminology, 29, 519530.

W. M. Karniski , M. D. Levine , S. Clarke , J. S. Palfrey , & L. J. Meltzer (1982). A study of neurodevelopmental findings in early adolescent delinquents. Journal of Adolescent Health Care, 3, 151159.

C. Kopp (1982). Antecedents of self-regulation: A developmental perspective. Developmental Psychology, 18, 199214.

V. E. Krynicki (1978). Cerebral dysfunction in repetitively assaultive offenders. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 166, 5967.

B. Lahey , S. E. Hartdagen , P. J. Frick , K. McBurnett , R. Connor , & G. W. Hynd (1988). Conduct disorder: Parsing the confounded relation to parental divorce and antisocial personality. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 97, 334337.

C. L. Lee , & J. E. Bates (1985). Mother-child interaction at age two years and perceived difficult temperament. Child Development, 56, 13141323.

R. Loeber (1988). The natural histories of juvenile conduct problems, substance use, and delinquency: Evidence for developmental progressions. In B. B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 11, pp. 73124). New York: Plenum Press.

J. C. Loehlin (1989). Partitioning environmental and genetic contributions to behavioral development. American Psychologist, 44, 12851292.

H. C. Lou , L. Henriksen , & P. Bruhn (1984). Focal cerebral hypoperfusion in children with dysphasia and/or attention deficit disorder. Archives of Neurology, 41, 825892.

H. Lytton (1990). Child and parent effects in boys' conduct disorder: A reinterpretation. Developmental Psychology, 26, 683697.

N. G. Martin , R. Jardine , & L. J. Eaves (1984). Is there only one set of genes for different abilities? Behavior Genetics, 14, 355370.

M. J. Meany , D. H. Aitken , C. van Berkel , S. Bhatnagar , & R. M. Sapolsky (1988). Effect of neonatal handling on age-related impairments associated with the hippocampus. Science, 239, 766768.

L. J. Miller , N. B. Burdg , & D. Carpenter (1980). Application of recategorized WISC-R scores of adjudicated adolescents. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 51, 187191.

J. S. Milner , & T. R. McCanne (1991). Neuropsychological correlates of physical child abuse. In J. S. Milner (Ed.), Neuropsychology of aggression (pp. 131145). Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

I. D. Milowe , & R. S. Lowrie (1964). The child's role in the battered child syndrome. Journal of Pediatrics, 65, 10791081.

T. E. Moffitt (1988). Neuropsychology and self reported early delinquency in an unselected birth cohort: A preliminary report from New Zealand. In T. Moffitt , S. Mednick , & S. A. Stack (Eds.), Biological contributions to crime causation (pp. 93120). New York: Martinus Nijhoff Press.

T. E. Moffitt (1990a). Juvenile delinquency and attention-deficit disorder: Developmental trajectories from age 3 to 15. Child Development, 61, 893910.

T. E. Moffitt (1990b). The neuropsychology of delinquency: A critical review of theory and research. In N. Morris & M. Tonry (Eds.) Crime and justice (Vol. 12, pp. 99169). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

T. E. Moffitt , W. F. Gabrielli , & S. A. Mednick (1981). Socioeconomic status, IQ, and delinquency. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 90, 152156.

T. E. Moffitt , & B. Henry (1989). Neuropsychological assessment of executive functions in selfreported delinquents. Development and Psychopathology, 1, 105118.

T. E. Moffitt , & B. Henry (1991). Neuropsychological studies of juvenile delinquency and violence: A review. In J. Milner (Ed.), The neuropsychology of aggression (pp. 6791). Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

T. E. Moffitt , & P. A. Silva (1988a). IQ and delinquency: A direct test of the differential detection hypothesis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 97, 330333.

T. E. Moffitt , & P. A. Silva (1988b). Neuropsychological deficit and self-reported delinquency in an unselected birth cohort. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 233240.

T. E. Moffitt , & P. A. Silva (1988c). Self-reported delinquency, neuropsychological deficit, and history of attention deficit disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 16, 553569.

H. L. Needleman , & D. C. Beringer (1981). The epidemiology of low-level lead exposure in childhood. Journal of Child Psychiatry, 20, 496512.

J. P. Newman (1987). Reaction to punishment in extroverts and psychopaths: Implications for the impulsive behavior of disinhibited individuals. Journal of Research in Personality, 21, 464480.

J. P. Newman , & D. S. Kosson (1986). Passive avoidance learning in psychopathic and nonpsychopathic offenders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 257263.

G. R. Patterson (1986b). Performance models for antisocial boys. American Psychologist, 41, 432444.

D. L. Paulhus , & C. L. Martin (1986). Predicting adult temperament from minor physical anomalies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 12351239.

R. Plomin (1990). The role of inheritance in behavior. Science, 248, 183188.

R. Plomin , K. Nitz , & D. C. Rowe (1990). Behavioral genetics and aggressive behavior in childhood. In M. Lewis & S. M. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of developmental psychopathology (pp. 119133). New York: Plenum Press.

N. M. Prentice , & F. J. Kelly (1963). Intelligence and delinquency: A reconsideration. Journal of Social Psychology, 60, 327337.

A. J. Reiss , & A. L. Rhodes (1961). The distribution of juvenile delinquency in the social class structure. American Sociological Review, 26, 720732.

B. P. Rourke , & J. L. Fiske (1981). Socio-emotional disturbances of learning disabled children: The role of central processing deficits. Bulletin of the Orton Society, 31, 7788.

M. Rutter (1977). Brain damage syndromes in childhood: Concepts and findings. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 18, 122.

J. C. Savitsky , & D. Czyzewski (1978). The reaction of adolescent offenders and nonoffenders to non-verbal emotional displays. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 6, 8996.

S. Scarr , & K. McCartney (1983). How people make their own environments: A theory of genotype → environment effects. Child Development, 54, 424435.

S. K. Shapiro , H. C. Quay , A. E. Hogan , & K. P. Schwartz (1988). Response perseveration and delayed responding in undersocialized aggressive conduct. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 97, 371373.

J. J. Snyder (1977). Reinforcement analysis of inter-action in problem and non-problem families. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 86, 528535.

J. S. Stamm , & S. V. Kreder (1979). Minimal brain dysfunction: Psychological and neuropsychological disorders in hyperkinetic children. In M. Gazzaniga (Ed.), Handbook of behavioral neurology: Vol. 2. Neuropsychology (pp. 119152). New York: Plenum Press.

K. Tambs , J. M. Sundet , & P. Magnus (1984). Heritability analysis of the TAIS subtests: A study of twins. Intelligence, 8, 283293.

R. E. Tarter , A. M. Hegedus , A. L. Alterman , & L. Katz-Garris (1983). Cognitive capacities of juvenile violent, nonviolent, and sexual offenders. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 171, 564567.

R. E. Tarter , A. M. Hegedus , N. E. Winsten , & A. L. Alterman (1984). Neuropsychological, personality, and familial characteristics of physically abused delinquents. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 23, 668674.

S. G. Vandenberg (1969). A twin study of spatial ability. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 4, 273294.

A. Walsh , T. A. Petee , & J. A. Beyer (1987). Intellectual imbalance and delinquency: Comparing high verbal and high performance IQ delinquents. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 14(3), 370379.

E. Waters , B. Vaughan , & B. Egeland (1980). Individual differences in infant-mother attachment: Antecedents in neonatal behavior in an urban economically disadvantaged sample. Child Development, 51, 208216.

D. Wechsler (1944). The measurement of adult intelligence (3rd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins.

J. White , T. E. Moffitt , F. Earls , L. N. Robins , & P. A. Silva (1990). How early can we tell? Pre-school predictors of boys' conduct disorder and delinquency. Criminology, 28, 507533.

J. White , T. E. Moffitt , & P. A. Silva (1989). A prospective replication of the protective effects of IQ in subjects at high risk for juvenile delinquency. Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, 57, 719724.

J. White , T. E. Moffitt , & P. A. Silva (1992). Specific arithmetic disability: Neuropsychological and socio-emotional correlates. Archives of Neuropsychology, 7, 116.

P. H. Wolff , D. Waber , M. Bauermeister , C. Cohen , & R. Ferber (1982). The neuropsychological status of adolescent delinquent boys. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 23, 267279.

M. E. Wolfgang , R. M. Figlio , & T. Sellin (1972). Delinquency in a birth cohort. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

L. T. Yeudall (1980). A neuropsychological perspective of persistent juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior. Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 347, 349355.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *