Knowledge and Resource Hub
09 August 2019

Patterns of antisocial behaviour from early to late adolescence

This research used data from the Australian Temperament Project to examine the types and extent of young people's antisocial behaviour at ages 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18 years and explore differing across-time patterns of such behaviour from early to late adolescence. Across all categories of antisocial behaviour, the most common types of antisocial acts in early adolescence were fighting (32%), alcohol use (25%), theft (16%) and property damage (14%). Similar trends emerged in mid adolescence, with rates of cigarette use (28%) and skipping school (27%) relatively common as well. By late adolescence the most common types of antisocial acts were alcohol use (84%), skipping school (43%), cigarette use (39%), fighting (23%), property damage (20%), marijuana use (19%) and driving a car without permission (15%). However generally, few individuals engaged in these antisocial acts more than once, the exceptions being property damage, skipping school, fighting, and most types of substance use.