Executive functioning, reward processing, and antisocial behavior in adolescent males

Authored by: Joanne E. Morgan , Katharine L. Bowen , Simon C. Moore , Justin C. Savage , Stephanie H. M. van Goozen

The Routledge International Handbook of Biosocial Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415722131
eBook ISBN: 9781315858449
Adobe ISBN: 9781317936749


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Executive function (EF) deficits are implicated in the impulsive and risk-taking behaviors exhibited by antisocial individuals (e.g. Ogilvie et al., 2011), although research mostly focuses on global EF deficits rather than specific functions such as reward processing. Reward seeking is heightened during adolescence, and this contributes to a typical increase in impulsive risk-taking behaviors during this developmental stage (Steinberg, 2004, 2010). However, it is not clear to what extent reward-processing biases are a general characteristic of adolescence or particularly implicated in those who engage in antisocial behavior (ASB). The present study therefore compared EF and reward-processing biases in male adolescent offenders and matched non-offending adolescents using both a global EF measure and two measures sensitive to reward and punishment processing.

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