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The Role of Antisocial Cognition in Antisocial Behaviour

Brewer, Ashley-John; (2017) The Role of Antisocial Cognition in Antisocial Behaviour. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Antisocial behaviour is a common and significant problem. This thesis focuses on the causal role of antisocial cognition in antisocial behaviour during late childhood and adolescence and comprises three parts. Part I is a systematic review and narrative synthesis of studies examining the causal nature of the antisocial cognition-antisocial behaviour relationship in older children and adolescents. Whilst the included studies generally support the existence of a reciprocal relationship between antisocial cognition and antisocial behaviour and suggest that antisocial cognition might constitute a causal mechanism of antisocial behaviour in adolescence, more high-quality research is needed to elucidate the causal role of antisocial cognition in antisocial behaviour. Part II is an empirical study that uses data from the Systemic Therapy for at Risk Teens study and mediation analysis to examine the extent that one aspect of antisocial cognition, namely beliefs and attitudes supporting peer conflict, explains two robust findings in the antisocial literature known as the peer influence effect and peer selection effect. The results suggest that beliefs and attitudes supporting peer conflict could constitute a causal mechanism underlying these effects. Part III is a critical appraisal that discusses some of the challenges associated with using mediation analysis to establish causal mechanisms in the study of antisocial behaviour and highlights some potential solutions to these problems with respect to the research questions addressed in the empirical paper in Part II of this thesis.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: The Role of Antisocial Cognition in Antisocial Behaviour
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10030763
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