What is the cause of social pressure

Psychiatry, psychosomatics & psychotherapy

Causes of Conduct Disorders

To a certain extent, oppositional defiance and antisocial behavior (e.g. lies, minor thefts, occasional physical or verbal arguments) are part of normal developmental phases in children. They serve the exploration of one's own influence, the demarcation as well as the identity development of the children. The majority of children manage to control their aggressive and antisocial impulses in the course of development. A smaller part of the children do not succeed in impulse control, maturation and socialization, or only inadequately.

The causes of disturbances in social behavior in childhood and adolescence are diverse; biological factors, parenting behavior and environmental factors but also certain characteristics of the child (temperament, impulse control) can play a role.
Taken alone, temperament or birth factors have no significant influence on later behavioral disorders. The decisive factor is how parents and other educators respond to the special characteristics of their child. Upbringing is the most important factor in behavioral problems and it suffers mainly from three aspects: too little attention - due to disinterest, lack of time or stress -, lack of social support and psychological problems. If the parents suffer from mental illnesses such as depression, alcohol or drug addiction, they are usually not in a position to be there for the child within an appropriate framework and to fulfill their role model function. Family stress and parenting skills for preschool children are of particular importance for the stability of aggressive behavior.

Parents who show violent behavior themselves pass this on to their child. The connection between experienced violence and self-inflicted violence is great. 25 to 40% of abused children pass the violence on. According to surveys, around 30% of children and adolescents are still chastised or abused by their parents at home. The family experience of violence thus exceeds that of peers.
It is not uncommon for the family to lack a fixed rhythm of life. Rules and structures that are needed by very restless, impulsive children - e.g. also children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - are difficult to create today. In addition, there is often less support for the parents - e.g. from grandparents who are by their side - within reach.

The influence of the peer group is also of particular importance: especially in the case of substance abuse and aggressive antisocial behavior, there are negative influences from peers. For girls, family conditions such as the educational climate and personality traits they experience are more decisive for the development of aggressiveness; for boys, on the other hand, peer groups, i.e. the influence of their peers, are more decisive.

Summary of the influencing factors

  • Biological factors:
    Male gender, low level of activity, pre- and perinatal risks (alcohol, smoking);
  • Family environment and upbringing:
    Violent behavior of parents, low social status of parents, inconsistent parenting behavior; Parenting behavior, inadequate parenting skills;
  • School:
    Attending certain types of school such as secondary school or special school, poor quality of training, poor school climate (among other things due to the interaction between teachers and students, offers in the school, design of the school environment, authoritarian or restrictive teaching style);
  • Mental characteristics:
    Insufficient impulse control and emotion regulation, distorted social-cognitive perception, poor problem-solving strategies, insufficient empathy, low tolerance for frustration;
  • Miscellaneous: 
    Violent peer group (peer group), social pressure, insufficient social integration, media influences



Technical support: Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Gerd Lehmkuhl, Cologne (DGKJP)