Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 767–781

Personality and antisocial behavior in children and adolescents: An enquiry into Eysenck's and Gray's theories

  • A. C. Fonseca
  • W. Yule

DOI: 10.1007/BF01447476

Cite this article as:
Fonseca, A.C. & Yule, W. J Abnorm Child Psychol (1995) 23: 767. doi:10.1007/BF01447476


Two studies were conducted to test the hypotheses derived from Eysenck's and Gray's theories of personality regarding antisocial behavior. For this purpose the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Junior) (EPQ-Junior) and a card task aimed at measuring sensitivity to reward were used in each of the studies. The first study compared a group of juvenile delinquents with a group of nondelinquents and the second study compared a group of severely conduct-disordered children with a group of normal children. The results did not support Eysenck's claim that delinquents score higher than their normal counterparts on extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism. Some support was found for the hypothesis derived from Gray's theory: Children and adolescents with severe antisocial behavior were more sensitive to rewards than their normal counterparts.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. C. Fonseca
    • 1
  • W. Yule
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Institute of PsychiatryLondonEngland
  3. 3.Faculdade de PsicologiaRua do Colégio NovoPortugal

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