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Conduct Disorder As immediately as infancy, children express individual characteristics that can be considered aggressive. The child can be aggressive in the way it cries, the way it plays and the way it attains attention. Parents of children that have a hard time sleeping through the night, trouble accepting affection and/or difficulties with hyperactivity are often so stressed and bothered by these behaviors that they resort to negative reinforcement techniques in their parenting.

Examples of this can be seen in spanking, harsh reprimanding or even ignoring the child?s behaviors. By using negative reinforcement, the parents are unknowingly strengthening the prevalence of these behaviors, and therefore, the risk of these types of activities to continue through adolescence is also heightened (Patterson, 1982). Children who tend to not comply with authority in infancy have a greater chance of having an aggressive temperament in adolescence (Kolvin, Nicol, Garside, Day & Tweedle, 1982; Olweus, 1980; Webster-Stratton & Eyberg, 1982).

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