Profiles of Antisocial Behavior in School-Based and At-Risk Adolescents in Singapore: A Latent Class Analysis

Abstract

This study used latent class analysis to examine whether multiple subgroups can be identified based on rule-breaking and aggressive behavior in school-based and at-risk adolescent samples. These groups were tested for differences in behavioral, emotional, personality and interpersonal correlates. Rule breaking and aggressive behavior co-occurred across all classes. School-based adolescents were classified as having minimal, minor or moderate antisocial problems. At-risk adolescents were classified as having mild, medium or severe antisocial problems. Generally, at-risk adolescents had higher levels of antisocial behavior, and greater severity of antisocial behavior was associated with more problems in various domains. Results differed however, for the school-based and at-risk samples with respect to emotional problems, sensation-seeking and peer conformity pressure. There is a need to jointly consider both non-aggressive rule-breaking behavior and aggressive behavior in prevention and intervention work, as it is insufficient to address isolated symptoms and problems in children and adolescents.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a MSF Grant (R48204008 MSF-Dev Trajectories). These findings, interpretations, and recommendations expressed in this article are the authors’ own, and these do not reflect the official position or view of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)

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Correspondence to Rebecca P. Ang.

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Ang, R.P., Li, X., Huan, V.S. et al. Profiles of Antisocial Behavior in School-Based and At-Risk Adolescents in Singapore: A Latent Class Analysis. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 51, 585–596 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-019-00941-1

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Keywords

  • Latent class analysis
  • Rule-breaking behavior
  • Aggressive behavior
  • School-based adolescents
  • At-risk adolescents