Disruptive children are often skilled at passing the blame for bad behaviour
Researchers asked 81 inner-city secondary school children about their disruptive behaviour and the reasons for it.
The London youngsters, aged 11 to 13, came up with three responses; that they had had a hard life, that others were to blame, or denied that they had misbehaved in the first place.
Reearchers also assessed children's "mind-reading" skills by showing them photographs of people's eyes and asking them to decide what the person was thinking or feeling.
"Disruptive behaviour, avoidance of responsibility, and theory of mind," by Jon Sutton, of Glasgow Caledonian University, and Michelle Reeves and Edmund Keogh, of Goldsmiths' College, London, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, also published this week