Brits Find Bad Children Have Bad Brains

Now they’ve done it! Remember when bad conduct wasn’t a mental disorder? It used to be a grade on a report card. Once upon time, long ago, in the days before attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, people chose whether or not to conduct themselves in matters befitting their species. Well, no more.

An article on the subject, Teenage anti-social behavior caused by “brain abnormality”, replete with brain scans, has been published in the UK Daily Mail.

Scientists have discovered that teens with a psychiatric condition known as ‘conduct disorder’ have an abnormal pattern of brain activity compared with those without the condition.

Conduct disorder leads to a high level of aggressive and antisocial behaviour and affects five teenagers in every 100 in the UK.

Bad behavior was previously attributed to peers copying peers behaving badly. The new formula is bad behavior equals bad brains.

This study involved giving brain scans to children looking at pictures of angry, sad, and neutral faces. The children labeled with Conduct Disorder showed very little emotional activity when viewing these images. Theory runs that they therefore must be lacking in The Empathy Department.

Dr Andy Calder from the MRC Unit, who led the research, said: “We know it costs the government ten times as much to support a child with conduct disorder into adulthood, compared to a normal child.

The fact that we are dealing with immature brains and bodies doesn’t come up so much. They are little adults whose brains researchers have been scanning for broken places.

The article doesn’t say whether adolescents with this disorder grow out of it, nor does it say whether the disorder follows them into prison.