Anti-social behaviour

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Anti-social behaviours are actions that harm or lack consideration for the well-being of others.[1] Many people label behaviour which is deemed contrary to prevailing norms for social conduct as anti-social behaviour.[2]

The American Psychiatric Association, in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, diagnoses persistent anti-social behaviour as antisocial personality disorder.[3] The World Health Organization includes it in the International Classification of Diseases as "dissocial personality disorder".[4]


Intent and discrimination may determine both pro- and anti-social behavior. Infants may act in seemingly anti-social ways and yet be generally accepted as too young to know the difference before the age of 4 or 5.[1] Berger states that parents should teach their children that "emotions need to be regulated, not depressed".[5]

In the UK[edit]

ASBO warning in London.

An anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) is a civil order made against a person who has been shown, on the balance of evidence, to have engaged in anti-social behaviour. The orders, introduced in the United Kingdom by Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998,[6] were designed to criminalize minor incidents that would not have warranted prosecution before.[7]

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 defines anti-social behaviour as acting in a manner that has "caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household" as the perpetrator. There has been debate concerning the vagueness of this definition.[8]

In a survey conducted by University College London during May 2006, the UK was thought by respondents to be Europe's worst country for anti-social behaviour, with 76% believing Britain had a "big or moderate problem".[9]

Current legislation governing anti-social behaviour in the UK is the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 which received Royal Assent in March 2014 and comes into enforcement in October 2014. This replaces tools such as the ASBO with 6 streamlined tools designed to make it easier to act on anti-social behaviour.[10]

Influence of media[edit]

Many of the studies regarding the media's influence on anti-social behaviour have been deemed inconclusive. The violence, racism, sexism, and other anti-social acts are attributed to things such as genetic predisposition and violence in the home. Some reviews have found strong correlations between aggression and the viewing of violent media[11] while others find little evidence to support their case.[12] The only unanimously accepted truth regarding anti-social behaviour is that parental guidance carries an undoubtedly strong influence; Providing children with brief negative evaluations of violent characters helps to reduce violent effects in the individual.[13]

Media may not only impact on anti-social behaviours like violence and sexism, but social isolation is also a possible result of media consumption. The wide use of Internet and portable technologies makes us connected and online most of our time. Internet as a communication system works as our universal information service when it comes to everything. We use it as our typewriter, telephone, clock, and radio. Never before has one system subsuming other intellectual technologies to the same extent as the Internet.[14] Furthermore, never has a communication system influenced our thoughts as the Internet does today, and yet little has been written about its psychological impact. Even if the Internet is a great source of information, the way we process the information gathered on the Net is far from the kind of deep reading printed pages requires.[14] The quiet spaces that is needed when deep thinking and reading, and in order to foster new ideas are jeopordised by the information society we are surrounded by. When always carrying around portable information technologies as smart phones and tablets, we tend to fill those quiet spaces with “content”.[14] This behaviour is also endangering social relationships. According to Turkle, “Being alone can start to seem like a precondition for being together because it is easier to communicate if you can focus, without interruption, on your screen.”.[15] Today’s shared spaces, such as train stations, are no longer places for physical interaction: a lot of people come together but neither to meet or speak with one another. However, the majority do have ongoing social interaction through their mobile devices. Those social portals are often used in both public and private places. In private situations, including the dinner table, for example, the psychological departures are signalled in more subtle ways.[15] It can be a glance down at a mobile device, or a vibration signal in the trouser pocket.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Berger, Kathleen Stassen (2003). The Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence, 6th edition (3rd publishing). Worth Publishers. ISBN 0-7167-5257-3. 
  2. ^ Welcome to Breckland Council. "Anti Social Behaviour". Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  3. ^ "Antisocial Personality Disorder". BehaveNet. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Berger, Kathleen (2005). The Developing Person Through the Life Span. NY, New York: Catherine Woods. 
  6. ^ "ASBOs can't beat a neighborhood policeman Times Online 30 September 2009". Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  7. ^ "BBC Q&A Anti-social behaviour orders". BBC News. 2002-03-20. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  8. ^ Andrew Millie (2009). Anti-Social Behaviour. ISBN 0-335-22916-6. 
  9. ^ Matt Weaver and agencies (2006). UK 'has worst behaviour problem in Europe'., Tuesday 9 May 2006
  10. ^ "What the Law Says". ASB Help. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  11. ^ Anderson, Craig A.; Gentile, Douglas A.; Buckley, Katherine E. (15 December 2006). Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents : Theory, Research, and Public Policy: Theory, Research, and Public Policy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-534556-8. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  12. ^ Sherry, John L. (2007). Preiss, Raymond W.; Gayle, Barbara Mae; Burrell, Nancy; Allen, Mike; Bryant, Jennings, eds. Mass Media Effects Research: Advances Through Meta-analysis. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 245–262. ISBN 978-0-8058-4998-1. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  13. ^ Nathanson, Amy I. (June 2004). "Factual and Evaluative Approaches to Modifying Children's Responses to Violent Television". Journal of Communication 54 (2): 321–336. doi:10.1111/j.1460-2466.2004.tb02631.x. 
  14. ^ a b c Nicholas Carr. "Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet is doing with our brains.". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2014-11-24. 
  15. ^ a b Turkle, Sherry (2011). Alone Together – why we expect more from technology and less from each other. Basic Books, New York. ISBN 978-0-465-01021-9. 

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