TORONTO - New research from the Vanier Institute for the Family has found there are more problem children today than 50 years ago.

York University professor Anne-Marie Ambert, the author of the study, says the finger of blame points at everyone: parents, schools, neighbourhoods and the media.

Problem behaviours include acts that hurt others, such as being disruptive, aggressive or delinquent.

The behaviours range from lying and running away, to fighting and bullying, theft and vandalism.

The study blames parents for being less available to their kids, schools and neighbourhoods offering weak community and social controls, less emphasis on religion, a rise in single-parent families and more access to visual media.

The paper is a review of hundreds of studies, mostly from Canada and the United States, that looked at various causes for the rise in children's behavioural problems.

These include studies on poverty, peers, parenting, schooling, media, personality, genetics and communities.