What Goes on Inside the Brain of a Misbehaving Boy? - Time When it comes to raising civilized kids there are no hard rules, but there are two things on which most parents agree: Boys are generally wilder than girls, and adolescents are wilder than kids of any other age. If you've got an adolescent boy, you're in the sweet spot for trouble. Now, a study shows how a glitch in the brains of the most difficult boys may be responsible for their behavior. "Brain responses to everyday rewards and punishments gradually guide most youngsters' decisions to conform to society's rules," said Crowley. "When ... seriously troubled kids experience rewards and punishments and make decisions, their brains apparently malfunction." None of this lets the boys entirely off the hook. All behavioral or mood disorders including depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ADHD and addiction have some neurochemical components, but sufferers can still work to overcome them. It does mean that parents, doctors and the legal system need to look more closely at what drives recidivist kids and then provide them with both tough love and treatments. It's that mix that has the best chance of getting them well and keeping them out of trouble.