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Nuclear Family and Development of Anti-social behaviour Essay



A nuclear family is a family comprising of parents or parent and children. This kind of family model is an important aspect in modeling the future of the children. It is within the family environment that a child learns the art of socialization. The family is responsible for supporting, guiding, and protecting children since the family is the first teacher to any child. In this case, the family a child grows in plays a major part in determining how a child will turn out to be later in life. Consequently, a child is a product of his or her family.

There has been a major evolution of the structure of a family because of globalization. The evolution has both positive and negative effects on child’s social behavior. Globalization has even made the women to start going out to work, as opposed to the traditional woman whose responsibility was mainly home keeping and motherhood. This has made the nuclear family to have some changes, which have effects on the child’s social behavior.

Antisocial behavior is any behavior that does not correspond with the set rules of any community. The indicators of antisocial behavior may include stealing, vandalism, addiction to drugs, bullying and school absentiseem in children.

In adulthood, the behavior may include marital breakdown, gender based violence, drug abuse and family negligence. This behavior is likely to cause harm or distress to the people around the affected person. There are several aspects in the nuclear family that influences the development of anti-social behaviors especially among children.

Parenting styles

The family, being the first source of education to children, has a major part to play in the development of antisocial behavior. There is a strong relationship between one’s upbringing and acquiring antisocial behavior. The type of upbringing one gets determines who he or she will turn to be in the future. In this case, some parenting styles may contribute to a child developing defiant and anti-social behaviours.

There are different types of parenting and each type has effect on the development of a child. One major type of parenting, which contributes to the development of antisocial behaviours in children, is the uninvolving parenting. This is the type of family that the parents are not concerned about the children’s welfare.

They fulfill their basic responsibility of providing the basic needs of the children but care less of what their children do. Children brought up in this type of family are likely to get in vices like bullying, vandalism, delinquency, and drug abuse. This results from the children having a lot of free time and minimal or no supervision.

Another style of parenting that has effects on development of defiant behaviours in children is authoritative parenting. The parents who use this style tend to lay down the rules and regulations, which they expect to the children to follow to the latter. The child has no space to ask questions or air out their opinions. This style is likely to cause the child to be rebellious to authority. Consequently, the child will have antisocial behaviors like bullying, drug abuse, and poor school performance.

The next type of parenting style is the permissive parenting. The parents using this style are slow to discipline their children whenever they do wrong. They prefer to use dialogue method of discipline rather than chastisement or corporal punishment. The children of such parents are at liberty to do whatever they wish. The children brought up in this type of style are likely to become thieves, vandalize properties and frequent absentiseem from school.

Socioeconomic status of a family

The socioeconomic status of a family has a major role to play in development of child’s behavior. If a family has a lower socio economic status, the parents are likely to have a psychological effect, which consequently affects the child. The economically disadvantaged parent is likely to be under stress most of the times as they try to make the ends meet.

In addition, the family’s socioeconomic status determines where such a family will stay. Families with lower socio-economic status are likely to stay in the cheap neighborhood which maybe insecure. The children may get involved with the gangs mostly associated with such a neighborhoods. The children will consequently get antisocial behavior including delinquency, gender based violence and even stealing.

Economic status of a family also determines the quality and quantity of education one receives. The disadvantaged families will offer their children little and poor quality education. Consequently, the children will be less competitive in the society. This will lead to frustration, which can cause them to get into antisocial behavior like stealing and drug abuse.

The socioeconomic status also determines the mental stability of the parents. Domestic violence is common among the economic disadvantaged families. The children who grow up in a family that has rampant domestic violence are likely to reciprocate the same in the adult years. The children will become violent especially the gender based violence. Moreover, the children may get involved in the gangs in the neighborhood as they look for love and acceptance that they lack at home.

Literacy level

The level of literacy of the parents really determines the outcome of the children’s behavior. It is evident that those parents who are illiterate or semi-literate are likely to be poor parents who are not able to handle and control their children.

In this case, such parents may not be conversant with the different stages and changes taking place in their children. Consequently, such children will develop some traits that the parents may be unable to control and contain. These children are likely to get involved in delinquency and then the vices that accompany it.

According to psychologists, the cycle is likely to repeat itself. Most of the illiterate or semi illiterate women get pregnant at a young age. This is because they get married at a young age or just get involved in unsafe sex. The young parents are so inexperienced and they may neglect or offer minimal attention to their children. Either this will make the children repeat the cycle or they get involved in the antisocial activities to earn a living.

Child abuse

Children who suffered some form of abuse during their growing up are likely to have antisocial behavior. In most cases, bullies are children who grew up with corporal punishment. They have an insatiable desire to do what they experienced on others. Their self-esteem is low and the only way to gain the needed sense of being is through harassing other children.

Most of such children think that violence is the way of life and is a tactic of survival. In addition, sexually abused children are likely to turn out to be rapists. They are the ones who are mostly involved in the gender-based violence once they are grown-ups. Antisocial behavior helps them fill the vacuum of bitterness and anger in them.

Dysfunctional families

Dysfunctional families may bring about great trauma in the children. Features that characterize such families include drug and substance abuse within the family, emotionally and physically disturbed family and even those with both physical and sexual abuse. Children from dysfunctional families are likely to pick the antisocial behaviors from their parents and siblings. Drug abuse and constant violence are common in this type of family.

Absent Parents

In this era of industrialization, the economic needs are making both parents to go out in search for an income. In addition, people live in isolation compared to the past when the nuclear family members stayed close to each other all the time. As the parents go out to work, they only have little or do not have any time for their children.

Such children lack the required emotional relationship with their parents. Consequently, this makes the children lose contact with their parents hence turn to their peers for advice and guidance. This leads them to get involved in antisocial behaviors as they copy whatever their peers are doing.

Lack of mentors

Mentoring is the relationship between a young person and an older person. The relationship between these people is one that is beneficial to the younger one. The older person will help the younger one to go through the stages of life through his or her guidance. Mentorship plays a big role in bringing up a wholesome person whether physically, socially, spiritually and even intellectually.

It also helps the person to be stable and of good character. Lack of mentors makes a child to have weak social ties hence engage in unacceptable behaviours. This child will not be able to interact well with the other members of society. The child is likely to suffer from low self-esteem because of poor interpersonal relationship.

In addition, such a child lacking a mentor will not enjoy good intellectual exposure. The child will therefore be less competitive in the job market when he or she gets older which may lead to frustration and lack of hope. The frustration will make the child or the adult to get into drug or substance abuse. The drug abuse will lead to further indulgence in antisocial behavior for instance involvement in crime.

Mentorship also helps a young person to socialize with people who will help him or her in social development. Lack of it makes the person to interact with anti-social and delinquent peers. In addition to delinquency, the youth will get involved in other antisocial behaviors. It is very common for these youths to get into stealing, vandalizing properties, raping and violence.


A family is an important unit of any society. The family molds, educates, guides, and supports any individual. However, it is evident that the family can play a major role in development of vices in one’s life. Different aspects in a nuclear family negatively affect a child’s development.

These include parenting style, socioeconomic status of the family, absent parents, child abuse, literacy level, dysfunctional families, as well as lack of mentorship. It is upon the leaders of a nuclear family, who are the parents, to ensure that their families are a source of help and development of good vices rather than anti-social behaviours.

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1. IvyPanda. "Nuclear Family and Development of Anti-social behaviour." January 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/nuclear-family-and-development-of-anti-social-behaviour/.


IvyPanda. "Nuclear Family and Development of Anti-social behaviour." January 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/nuclear-family-and-development-of-anti-social-behaviour/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Nuclear Family and Development of Anti-social behaviour." January 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/nuclear-family-and-development-of-anti-social-behaviour/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Nuclear Family and Development of Anti-social behaviour'. 20 January.

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