Social gradients in child and adolescent antisocial behavior: A systematic review protocol

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Background: The relationship between social position and physical health is well-established across a range of studies. The evidence base regarding social position and mental health is less well developed, particularly regarding the development of antisocial behavior. Some evidence demonstrates a social gradient in behavioral problems, with children from low-socioeconomic backgrounds experiencing more behavioral difficulties than children from high-socioeconomic families. Antisocial behavior is a heterogeneous concept that encompasses behaviors as diverse as physical fighting, vandalism, stealing, status violation and disobedience to adults. Whether all forms of antisocial behavior show identical social gradients is unclear from previous published research. The mechanisms underlying social gradients in antisocial behavior, such as neighborhood characteristics and family processes, have not been fully elucidated. This review will synthesize findings on the social gradient in antisocial behavior, considering variation across the range of antisocial behaviors and evidence regarding the mechanisms that might underlie the identified gradients.Methods: In this review, an extensive manual and electronic literature search will be conducted for papers published from 1960 to 2011. The review will include empirical and quantitative studies of children and adolescents (




Piotrowska, P. J., Stride, C. B., & Rowe, R. (2012). Social gradients in child and adolescent antisocial behavior: A systematic review protocol. Systematic Reviews, 1(1).

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