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Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2006 Dec;50(6):654-60.

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

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  • 1Italian Federation of Martial Arts.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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