The Stability of Aggressive Behavior—Even unto the Third Generation

  • Leonard D. Eron
  • L. Rowell Huesmann


In young adults, delinquency and criminal behavior are problems of which dimensions in terms of cost to life and property are obviously staggering. Decades of research into the root causes of delinquency and criminality have revealed numerous variables that are correlated with the ontogeny of different aspects of criminal behavior. Yet there is little sign that, based on these findings, the responses of the criminal justice or of the psychological establishments have had much impact. It now seems clear that a major reason for such failures is that the aggressive style of responding, underlying most delinquent and criminal behavior, generally emerges very early in life but also appears to be a relatively stable, self-perpetuating behavior that is not readily amenable to change by the time it usually comes to the attention of society. Hence, it is imperative for researchers to examine the foundations of delinquent and criminal behavior in young children, and not just in adolescents or in young adults.


Aggressive Behavior Antisocial Behavior Prosocial Behavior Criminal Behavior Criminal Career 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard D. Eron
    • 1
  • L. Rowell Huesmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IllinoisChicagoUSA

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