The reasoning behind it is that the child has learnt inaccurate appraisals from the aggression situation and started applying them to their own life . A repeat exposure to such conflicts causes stress for the child and this could lead to a situation where the child starts imitating the aggressive tendencies shown by their parents. Children imitate the social behaviour that is set as an example to them. When there is a partner discord, it could so happen that the children will model their behaviour based on that of their parents. They might imitate the aggression. They would learn through parental aggression that aggression is indeed a very normal part of everyday life. Overtime, the children learn to respond to similar situation in life with a very active amount of aggression themselves. Aggression as control and other form of manipulative tendencies might also be learned by the child over time (NICE, 2013). Some of these characteristic traits in manipulation and aggression also connect with the characteristics of antisocial personality disorder, thus elevating the chances of criminal delinquency.
The use of abuse and physical punishment furthermore reinforces the tendency for the child to become emotionally cold and distance. For instance, physical abuse has been reported on a very high scale as being associated with aggressive parenting (Harrison et al., 1996; Marcus-Newhall et al., 2000). Child studies indicate that physical aggression, such as beating, teaches the child to act in a similar violent way towards social situations and problems.
There are research evidences to suggest that criminal offending and antisocial personality might be correlated. Criminal offenders are considered to fit into a larger category of antisocial personality deviants (Hechtman & Weiss, 1986). Some of the many problem issues associated with APSD are drinking, reckless driving, education problems, and difficult relationships etc. (Lambert, 1989). Some characteristics of antisocial personality issues, and even aggressive parenting, and environment are seen to be applicable in the case of John Wayne Gacy. This section shows how antisocial personality disorder and aggression in childhood resulted in the formation of a serial killer.