Historical trends

There have been no surveys conducted in the same locations using the same methods in different decades to say reliably whether conduct disorder is becoming more common. However, there is better information about officially reported crime and self-reported criminal acts. Whilst crime reflects only one subset of antisocial behaviours, there is a strong overlap with adolescent conduct disorder as it covers non-aggressive acts such as theft, drug-taking, and deception, and aggressive acts such as fighting and mugging. From 1945 to 1985 crimes committed by all ages increased greatly in Western and industrialized countries, by factor of over 20 (Spain and Canada), 10 to 15 (Sweden and Norway), and 1 to 6 (Australia, England, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States). (!Z) All the available evidence suggests that the juvenile component has risen in a similar way. Specific studies of conduct disorder across cohorts (l8) also suggest a rise over the last 40 years.

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