An aberrant action or behavior that breaches society’s accepted standards of moral conduct, social norms, and values is known as deviant behavior.
This can range from minor offenses such as flouting instructions to more serious criminal activities.
Deviant behavior can express itself in a variety of ways, from changes in personality and attitude to alterations in mood.
Knowing how to recognize these signs at an early stage is essential for potentially identifying issues and intervening as soon as possible before things become worse.
This article aims to explain common signs of deviance so you know what to look out for, and give tips on how best to tackle them.
What are the types of deviant behavior?
There are numerous forms of deviant behavior, some more severe than others. These include:
- Physical violence or aggression
2. Theft and robbery
3. Substance abuse and addiction
4. Sexual misconduct, such as soliciting a minor for sex or other forms of sexual exploitation
5. Delinquent behavior, such as vandalism, graffiti, destruction of property, arson, and shoplifting
6. Criminal activities, such as burglary and fraud
7. Cheating or lying
8. Bullying or cyberbullying
9. Truancy or poor school attendance
10. Disrespectful attitudes or behaviors toward others
11. Unlawful behavior such as breaking laws or not following laws
What are the signs of deviant behavior?
The signs and symptoms of deviance tend to vary depending on the type and severity of the behavior. Common signs may include:
Changes in attitude
Changes in attitude may include aggression and manipulation, a lack of remorse or empathy, refusal to take responsibility for one’s actions, extreme selfishness, or defensiveness.
In more serious cases, these behaviors might be accompanied by hostility and violence.
Changes in mood
Mood swings are often associated with deviant behavior.
If someone suddenly seems to exhibit a wide range of emotions, from excessive giddiness or excitement to deep depression and anxiety, this could point to the presence of an underlying issue.
It is important to be aware of any changes in mood, as they can often be precursors to more drastic behavior.
Changes in behavior
Changes in behavior could include excessive risk-taking, antisocial or withdrawn tendencies, withdrawal from activities once enjoyed, a sudden drop in academic performance or attendance at school or work, and lying.
Other signs might involve changes in clothing style such as wearing darker colors than usual or acting out of character.
If any of these signs are present, it is important to take action in order to address the underlying issues.
Changes in social relationships
Deviant behavior can also be indicated by changes in one’s social life, such as a sudden lack of interest in friends or family members, avoidance of conversations, or increased isolation from others.
Moreover, if someone suddenly appears to distance themselves from people they were previously close to, this could be a sign of underlying issues which require attention.
How to respond to deviance?
There are a variety of methods that can be used to respond to deviance, depending on the type and severity. It is important to determine the cause of the behavior before taking action.
If necessary, seek professional advice or assistance in order to properly address any underlying issues.
The most effective way to tackle deviance is through providing support.
This could include talking with the person and listening to their concerns, helping them understand why their behavior is wrong or problematic, and offering guidance on how best to address it moving forward.
It can also involve assisting them in finding coping strategies and strengthening healthy relationships.
Additionally, if possible, providing the individual with additional resources, such as counseling or therapy sessions, can help to address any underlying mental health issues.
It is also important to set clear boundaries and expectations when addressing deviant behavior.
This could involve enforcing consequences for inappropriate actions and not allowing certain activities or behaviors which are deemed unacceptable.
These boundaries should be discussed and agreed upon with the person prior to taking action.
Additionally, it is important to ensure that all parties involved adhere to these boundaries in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for everyone.
Encourage positive behaviors
It is also beneficial to encourage positive behavior by recognizing and rewarding good actions or conduct.
This could involve providing incentives for completing tasks, attending classes or meetings, or demonstrating desired behaviors.
Additionally, it can be helpful to provide opportunities for the person to practice their skills and build relationships with others in order to support positive growth.
Deviant behavior often has underlying causes which need to be addressed in order for the individual to move forward.
It is important to recognize any changes in mood, behavior, or social relationships that may suggest the presence of deviance and take action to support the individual and provide resources as necessary.
Additionally, setting clear boundaries and expectations can help ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone involved.
Finally, encouraging positive behavior by recognizing and rewarding good actions can help to promote growth and development.