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Antisocial behaviour by young people


Antisocial behaviour by young people has been a central focus of policy and practice development by this government. The implementation of the Crime and Disorder Act indicated a major overhaul of the youth justice system and there has been considerable interest in early intervention and prevention (e.g. Sure Start). In 1995 the Department of Health funded Michael Rutter (Institute of Psychiatry), Henri Giller (Social Information Systems Ltd) and Ann Hagell (PRB) to write a book bringing together the international literature on the causes, development and treatment of antisocial behaviour.

The Department also funded the Dartington Social Research Unit (Michael Little) to write a long paper on prevention and early intervention, which was completed at the same time as our book. It was then decided to fund us to run a six month dissemination programme covering the antisocial behaviour book and the prevention paper.

Timescale and final product of the research

The book was published in 1998 and a summary is available from Social Information Systems Ltd.

Four further summaries of the book were then written for specific audiences. These covered:

  • Specific messages concerning adolescent mental health and its overlap with antisocial behaviour
  • Specific messages for social services teams
  • Specific messages for youth justice teams
  • The key messages concerning setting up evaluations and further research

In addition, we held conferences in 1999, one in London and the other in York, which included presentations from MPs, NHS Executives and representatives from youth offending teams and Health Action Zones.

Rutter, M., Giller, H. and Hagell, A. (1998) Antisocial Behavior by Young People. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Rutter, M., Giller, H. and Hagell, A. (1998) Antisocial Behaviour by Young People: The main messages from a major new review of the research. Social Information Systems Ltd.

See Publications for further details.

Last updated July 2004