Siegel , Alexander W. and Scovill, Lori C. (In press.) Problem behavior: The double symptom of adolescence. Development and Psychopathology.

In this paper we address several issues regarding problem or antisocial behavior in adolescents. First, we discuss conceptualizations of adolescent problem behavior to answer the question “What do we think we know so far?” Then, we briefly characterize current interventions designed to reduce these behaviors, and their relative success in doing so. Next, we examine earlier attempts to prevent and ameliorate problem behavior (including juvenile delinquency), situating them in the historical context of America from the turn of the century to World War II. Here, we attempt to answer the questions “How did we get to where we are?” and “How can we learn from the past?” Following this, we try to answer the question “Where do we go from here?” and articulate some research and policy implications relevant to developmental psychopathology that arise from these considerations. We argue that problem behavior is viewed most productively in its double aspect, as a “double-symptom” (Jackson 1884), with the positive aspect of the symptom reflecting adolescents’ attempts to satisfy their developmental needs.