Using the hi-tech tools of a new field called neurogenetics and a few simple questions for parents, a University of Michigan researcher is beginning to understand which boys are simply being boys and which may be headed for trouble.
"When young children lie or cheat or steal, parents naturally wonder if they'll grow out of it," Luke Hyde, a U-M psychologist who is studying the development and treatment of antisocial behavior, said.
Hyde, a faculty associate at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR) and assistant professor of psychology, is speaking at ISR on November 11 on how genes, experience and the brain work together to heighten or reduce the risks that normal childhood transgressions will develop into full-blown conduct disorders in adolescence and early adulthood.
His talk is part of the ISR Research Center for Group Dynamics seminar series on violence and aggression, and is free and open to the public.
"The lifetime prevalence of conduct disorder is around 10 percent, and even higher in males and low-income populations," Hyde said.
"The total cost to society is enormous, since these behaviors are often chronic, lasting through adulthood," he added.