Externalizing and oppositional behaviors and karate-do: The way of crime prevention - A pilot study

Mark T. Palermo, Massimo Di Luigi, Gloria Dal Forno, Cinzia Dominici, David Vicomandi, Augusto Sambucioni, Luca Proietti, Patrizio Pasqualetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Childhood disruptive behaviors can be precursors to later deviance. To verify the efficacy of karate, a complex psychomotor activity that enhances self-regulation and executive skills, as an intervention for externalizing behaviors, 16 children, ranging in age from 8 to 10 years, and meeting diagnostic criteria for oppositional defiant disorder were studied. Eight were randomly assigned to a 10-month Wa Do Ryu karate program, whereas 8 children received no intervention. The children were assigned to a larger karate class, composed of typically developing youngsters. Three domains of temperament - intensity, adaptability, and mood regulation - were measured at the beginning and the end of the training period in all 16 participants. A significant improvement in temperament scale scores was measured in the karate group for all tested items compared to controls. Karate, when properly taught, can be a useful adjunct in multimodal programs aimed at externalizing behavior reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-660
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Aggression
  • Disobedience
  • Karate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Applied Psychology


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