The Rise of the Antisocial Identity

As I was reading about Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Reasoning, (Nevid, 2015, p.350-353), I started thinking about the contributing cognitions, or thoughts and feelings, of people labeled as antisocial. The postconventional level of reasoning generally occurs during adolescence when teenagers begin to form their own ideas about who they are in relation to society. Perhaps physiological or hormonal changes spark this identity crisis. I don’t know. But I do know that those who refuse to blindly follow society’s leaders are in danger of being labeled “antisocial” and treated accordingly.


I have wondered about the contributing factors of passive-aggressiveness. What if a child grows up with parents, or guardians, who teach the child to respect the laws of society. To the child, the laws of society would represent the morality of the parents. And now suppose that the child begins to experience an adolescent identity crisis at about the same time period that his or her parents began to experience a midlife identity crisis and exhibit behavior that displaces or disrupts the adolescent’s life. Could the adolescent then become angry with the parents and, as a result, develop an ideology based on disrespect for the morality of the parents, such morality being the laws of society? And could this disrespect for the laws of society influence the resolution to the identity crisis, thus giving rise to the antisocial identity?