Adolescents With Deviant Behavior: Social And Managerial Issues Of Risk Prevention


This article analyzes the issues of deviant behavior of adolescents from the point of view of an interdisciplinary approach. The need for timely identification of deviant traits among the adolescent population as well as prevention among such adolescents and identification of risk groups remains relevant. If preventive care is not provided on time deviations worsen the adolescent's socialization, reduce the level of adaptation, and can also form criminal types of behavior. Signs, typology, forms of deviant behavior are described. Social and psychological factors of deviant traits occurrence in the adolescent population are identified. Despite all the measures taken by the state the percentage of adolescents with deviant traits is quite high and the achievement of effective interdepartmental interaction cannot be called complete. The results of the authors' research on this topic are considered. Considering that deviant behavior is an interdisciplinary problem the author considers it from the side of various sciences and positions. The issues of prevention, identification of risk groups among the adolescent population, the formation of a systematic approach are also considered. The problems of approaches to intersectoral cooperation of all interested services are presented. The problem of deviant behavior is relevant, the further formation of interagency interaction, the formation of new approaches as well as in the possibilities of using information technologies.

Keywords: Adolescents, delinquent behavior, deviant behavior, intersectoral cooperation, social prevention


Deviant behavior among adolescents is considered a problem among many sciences, including psychology, psychiatry, and criminology. Among the positive aspects it is noted the repeated attempts of various specialists to consider these issues from different angles and to determine joint tactics for timely diagnosis, support, and prevention of such adolescents. Many authors noted predictors of various types of deviant behavior, prevention issues on the part of all interested services, developed programs for adolescents. But, despite all of the above, it is too early to talk about full-fledged intersectoral cooperation. Thus, it is necessary to consider the possibilities of new approaches to the formation of prevention and timely diagnosis of deviant behavior among the adolescent population.

Problem Statement

Relevance of deviant or deviant behavior research is one of the important issues of various specialties and is due to scientific and practical reasons. The issues of deviant behavior are interdisciplinary considered from the side of legal psychology, pedagogy, sociology and criminology, psychiatry. This interest is due to acute social issues, issues of adaptation of the adolescent population, as well as significant criminalization of the younger generation.

Regarding deviations at cross disciplinary level it includes problematic behavior in the form of individual actions or a system of actions that contradict the legal and moral norms accepted in society. It can be said that social deviations are as diverse as the social norms themselves. However, the conjugation of the term with the concept of "social norm" complicates the problem many times over, since the boundaries of the norm are very conditional, and a person who is absolutely normal in all respects simply does not exist. A variety of approaches is also manifested in solving such practical problems as diagnostics of deviant personality behavior, its prevention and overcoming in the course of providing social and psychological assistance.

Research Questions

The relevance of the problem under study is due to scientific and practical reasons. Deviant behavior of adolescents is one of the central problems of modern society. The health issues of adolescents are important both from the side of sociology, psychiatry, psychology, and from the side of criminology. Therefore, it is worth noting that deviant behavior disrupts the functioning of society as a harmonious structure it is necessary to comply with social and moral norms. But it is also worth noting that since the functioning of social systems is inextricably linked with human life, in which social changes are also implemented through deviant behavior, deviations in behavior are natural and necessary. They serve to enhance the individual experience. The resulting diversity in the psychophysical, socio-cultural, spiritual and moral state of people and their behavior is a condition for improving society, for the implementation of social development. In Russian and foreign literature considered problems are linked with deviant behavior, associated mainly with adolescents, representing a group of increased social risk.

These problems cover the psychological and pedagogical rehabilitation of children with behavioral deviations, drug addiction, deviations in intellectual, physical, sexual development, the study of the conditions for raising children in the family, the role of the school psychological service in preventing deviations in the behavior of minors. The works also intensively investigate the problems of crime prevention among minors with behavioral deviations. Deviance cannot be determined without relying on knowledge of norms (Mendelevich, 2005).

The concept of a norm can be viewed in different meanings. For example, from the side of medicine as social institution this is a condition in which there is no disturbance in the functioning of the body; on the part of pedagogics, this is compliance with the educational standard; from the side of legal studies – compliance with the norms of the law. However, the definition of "psychological norm" can cause some difficulties, since it is a set of certain properties inherent in most people, a standard of behavior (Zmanovskaya, 2003). The existing possible deviations from a certain standard can be assessed as variants of the norm, manifestations of character traits, personality, as a unique result of the interaction of individuality and specific features of the situation. It should be borne in mind that such deviations can be both destructive and positive.

Despite the existence of various norms society cannot remain a static system since society is determined by individuals. Thus, it can be noted that current trends do not always correspond to the trend of past years. And deviant traits formed in some individuals are an integral part of modern society.

Another factor in the development of deviant traits among the adolescent population is certain conditions. Generally, adolescence is a crisis period, a period of character development, and accordingly has its own characteristics and is subject to certain risk factors (Kupchenko, 2017). Also, this age period is characterized by general emotional immaturity, increased suggestibility, immaturity of judgments, a special attitude to the assessments of others, and emancipation from parents.

Thus, all these conditions can become predictors of the development of deviant traits in a teenager. The stay and conditions of upbringing in a family are also important conditions for the formation of a personality. This topic has been studied in sufficient detail, and it is indicated that of the most common causes of the occurrence of complicated behavior, these are the shortcomings of family education, pedagogical neglect, contradictions in the personal development of adolescents. The development of deviant traits cannot be considered without taking into account the personality traits of the adolescent. Under the influence of external factors and the social environment, adolescents need to quickly adapt, make decisions, which is generally impossible due to lack of experience and full maturity of the nervous system. Thus, it is possible to identify some characterological traits characteristic of the persons of the specified contingent. To a greater extent, adolescents with deviant features have the following types of accentuations: cyclothymic, hyperthymic, exalted and demonstrative. These types of accentuations are also most pronounced in adolescents with delinquent traits. If we consider the question of studying the personal characteristics of adolescent schoolchildren, the following types of accentuations are clearly expressed: exaltation, cyclothymic, lability and rigidity (Ostapenko & Ostapenko, 2013).

As part of the study of the anamnestic data of the adolescent contingent, it is necessary to highlight heredity, social environment, education, upbringing and, finally, the social activity of the individual himself. All these factors have an impact in a direct or indirect form, but there is no direct relationship between their negative consequences and the nature of human behavior. It is identified 3 main factors: biological, psychological and social (Boryak, 2015).

When considering social factors, it can be recognized that they can be considered a determinant of many psychological phenomena. Deviations from social norms, despite their great diversity, have common reasons for their existence, and often leading to their growth and prevalence. In essence, they are reduced to objective and subjective contradictions of social development, which disrupt the interaction of the individual with the social environment and lead to forms of behavior of individuals that are not consistent with the existing normative system. Moreover, the same contradiction can underlie both socially undesirable forms of behavior (crime, alcoholism, suicide, etc.) and socially approved forms (cognitive activity, creativity, everyday activity, etc.). When considering social factors, one cannot but take into account the role of the family, as the main social institution in the formation of a teenager's personality. Accordingly, with the development of inharmonious conditions, lack of proper parental care, alcoholization of family members, harsh treatment of a teenager, are important factors in the development of deviant traits. Note that these factors in most studies are manifested systemically. And also a number of intra-family relations act as a factor of development precisely as delinquent traits, and as a consequence of the threat of criminalization of the adolescent population (Vasyagina, 2013). These factors include:

  • frustration of the child's need for care and affection on the part of the parents, as well as the formation of the child's early traumatic experiences;
  • physical or psychological cruelty, the cult of strength in the family;
  • difficulty in the formation of moral consciousness, as a result of insufficient influence of one of the family members;
  • fixation on acute traumatic events (illness, death of a parent, violence, divorce);
  • indulgence of the child in the fulfillment of his desires, insufficient exactingness of the parents, their inability to put forward consistently increasing demands or to achieve their fulfillment;
  • overstimulation of the child – too intense loving early relationships with parents, brothers and sisters.

As for the structure of deviant behavior then it is necessary to distinguish its diversity in structures, types and forms. The typology of deviant behavior involves the analysis of varieties of deviant behavior, depending on the characteristics of the individual's interaction with reality and the mechanisms of occurrence of behavioral anomalies.

Forms of deviant behavior in the literature are presented quite widely and include clinical manifestations of deviant behavior.

So obviously with such a variety of clinical manifestations there are different approaches to the classification of forms of deviant behavior. There are the following forms of deviant behavior:

  • aggression;
  • autoaggression (suicidal behavior);
  • various forms of addiction;
  • eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia);
  • anomalies of sexual behavior;
  • the formation of overvalued psychological formations (workaholism, gambling addiction, collecting, health paranoia; religious, musical, sports and other types of fanaticism);
  • characterological and pathocharacterological reactions (emancipation, grouping, opposition, etc.);
  • communicative deviations
  • immoral and immoral behavior;
  • delinquent behavior;
  • criminal behavior;
  • unaesthetic behavior.

The structure of deviant behavior is understood as the specificity of the combination and dynamics of the constituent parts of behavior deviating from the norm or harmony.

It is identified 5 types of behavior, including clinical manifestations of deviations from the norm: delinquent, addictive, pathocharacterological, psychopathological, based on hyperpowers. Currently, much attention is paid to identifying and describing deviations in behavior associated with pathocharacterological personality traits (Sheffer, 2003), and the behavior characteristic of the latter of the identified forms (K.K. Platonov) remains less studied.

Social and psychological factors of behavioral deviation have been sufficiently fully investigated in relation to the pubertal and post-pubertal periods of adolescent personality development, depending on the previous crisis stages of development (Sheffer, 2003). Thus, all this points to the practical importance of a comprehensive study of socio-psychological factors of deviant behavior that affect the process of adolescent socialization.

Purpose of the Study

The high scientific and social significance of the problem of deviant behavior in adolescence is represented by a large number of deviations, therefore, it is worth considering an integrated approach to the prevention and prevention of deviant behavior in adolescence. Primarily, we note that the prevention and prevention of deviant behavior should be carried out in an integrated and interdisciplinary approach, as well as the study of this topic. In social work, the prevention of deviant behavior in adolescents is understood as a set of measures aimed at identifying the causes and conditions that contribute to the emergence and spread of deviant behavior in children and adolescents, as well as the development of measures to prevent it. Considering all the ongoing activities, it is too early to talk about effective interagency cooperation. If we consider the issues of prevention of deviant and delinquent behavior, as well as the resocialization of persons with criminal behavior in foreign countries, it is noted that in foreign countries it is used along with social and pedagogical methods, the use of psychotherapeutic techniques, methods of psychoanalysis.

Research Methods

The basis of this study is the analysis of literary sources, on the basis of which the main features, forms, typology of deviant behavior are highlighted.


The analysis of the characteristics of the adolescent population with deviant features allows us to draw a number of conclusions.

First, it reflects that this problem is interdisciplinary therefore the prevention and prevention of deviant behavior should be carried out in an integrated and interdisciplinary approach, as well as the study of this topic. Also, to solve the problem of deviant behavior in adolescents, many researchers suggest focusing on school and family, since they are the main institutions of adolescent socialization. It was proposed to introduce a certain circle of specialists dealing with the issues of deviant behavior of adolescents, such as a social work specialist, a psychologist, a teacher, a social educator and a juvenile affairs inspector.

The presence of such specialists will improve the ability to comprehensively, timely, comprehensively provide assistance to a family, child, school, and develop a general work plan. But, in this case, one cannot fail to note the role of the family, since the family is a unique social institution. Those positions in the system of social relations, which the child's parents form, determine in the future the style of his life.

In addition to strengthening family values, introducing narrow specialists in working with adolescents, it is also worth noting the complexity of the approach. Improving the qualifications of teachers, in order to provide assistance to such a teenager in a timely manner, organizing teacher training, the possibility of using distance technologies for these purposes. With the aim of also effective assistance, the formation of a system of effective interaction between psychological, pedagogical, social and medical-oriented services.

For the formation of effective prevention, it is worth noting the need for timely diagnosis. Namely, the identification of risk groups, the formation of groups for further examination and support through the introduction of psychological techniques, trainings, webinars. Additional methods of assistance through the media, social networks, the Internet. Involvement of adolescents in socially useful activities, volunteering.

For development of preventive work with adolescents, it is necessary to take into account certain principles, such as voluntariness, awareness, expediency. In this regard the development and implementation of interagency interaction and the possibility of considering it on the basis of remote communication tools, for example, digital technologies, is relevant. Information technologies have recently become quite widespread and it can be noted that they are the same institution of socialization as family and school among the adolescent population.

The introduction of digital technologies into practice will increase, first of all, the availability of qualified assistance, and reduce the problem of adolescent adaptation difficulties. The use of online communication technologies, in particular, in the development of preventive methods and the timely provision of qualified assistance to risk groups, will provide an opportunity for feedback and further support of adolescents who have asked for help.

Also, when using such technologies, the possibility of timely informing all interested services and the organization of timely assistance, solving the issue of resource equipment of services increases.


The need for timely identification of deviant traits among the adolescent population as well as prevention among such adolescents and identification of risk groups remains relevant. If preventive care is not provided on time deviations worsen the adolescent's socialization, reduce the level of adaptation, and can also form criminal types of behavior. The problem of deviant behavior is relevant, the further formation of interagency interaction, the formation of new approaches as well as in the possibilities of using information technologies.


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31 January 2022

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Nilova, A. S., & Fedonnikov, A. S. (2022). Adolescents With Deviant Behavior: Social And Managerial Issues Of Risk Prevention. In S. Afanasyev, A. Blinov, & N. Kovaleva (Eds.), State and Law in the Context of Modern Challenges, vol 122. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 463-469). European Publisher.