The word “aggression” has Latin roots (“attack”). As statistics show, children and adults are becoming more and more aggressive every year. This is mainly due to the increasing rhythm of life, psychological stress and poor sleep and rest schedule. Aggressive behavior can occur both because of the characteristics of the character and upbringing of a person, and because of mental illness.
Aggressive behavior is destructive actions and statements that lead to psychological and physical damage to the person or group of people to whom it is directed. Unreasonable aggression may indicate that the hormonal balance in the body is disturbed, in some cases this is a manifestation of Alzheimer’s disease. There can be a lot of reasons, so you need an examination by qualified specialists. The earlier the diagnosis is carried out, the higher the chance of eliminating the causes without consequences for the person himself and for those around him, including those closest to him.
Mental and psychological causes of aggressive behavior in adults and adolescents:
- use of sleeping pills
- abuse of drugs from the group of antidepressants
- problems at work
- troubles in personal life
- lack of rest during intensive workload
Motives for aggression can be:
- hostile (anger, hatred, rage, emotional breakdown)
- pathological (these are the consequences of mental disorders: hallucinations, delusions, psychoses)
- authoritarian (associated with the desire for power, a person seeks to be above others, control and subjugate them)
- hedonistic (aggression brings satisfaction to a person: moral or physical)
- mental self-regulation (aggression helps a person to find psychological comfort and inner harmony)
- denial (aggressive behavior in such cases is a way of violating existing rules, norms, laws)
Separately, some researchers consider the motives for following, acquiring and achieving, defensive motives for aggression.
Theories of aggressive behavior
There are many such theories. The most widespread theories of Erich Fromm, Sigmund Freud and Konrad Lorenz. Aggression is divided into 4 categories:
- a need that is caused by external factors (this mechanism is explained by frustration theory)
- congenital feature (explained by the theory of attraction)
- form of behavior in society
- cognitive and emotional processes
Aggression in children
Statistics show that in recent years, schoolchildren, especially those in the lower grades, have become more and more aggressive. They develop aggressive behavior directed both at classmates and friends, as well as at teachers and parents. Among the most relevant reasons are:
- staying in an unstable psychological climate in the family (parents do not get along with each other, show aggression towards their son or daughter)
- poor upbringing (when one day the child is allowed something, and on the second day they flatly refuse to do the same; this causes misunderstanding of the child and anger)
- poor school performance
- quarrels and lack of a common language with classmates
- biased attitude of the teacher
- excessive demands of the teacher, curator, parents
Aggressive behavior in a child of 2 years old can be provoked by a ban on something. When they do not get what they want, tantrums or manifestations of aggression may begin. Children of this age do not yet understand that their behavior has a certain result, which can significantly affect others. For example, they may push another child, not realizing that he may hit his head or even break something. Aggressive children at the age of 2 years should not be scolded. Explain to him what he was wrong about, what consequences his actions bear. When hysterical, try to switch his attention to something.
Also, aggression in children of 2 years old may indicate that they have basic physical needs that they cannot yet say about (or cannot even realize them). For example, a child may want to drink, eat, sleep, rest.
At the age of three, the child has the first age crisis. You can not show retaliatory aggression, you need to act in calm conversations, explanations of the situation. If this does not help, you should definitely consult a qualified child psychologist.
Aggressive behavior in preschoolers can have the following possible causes:
- hereditary, character traits
- somatic diseases
- brain pathology
At the age of 7, the child has another crisis of personality development. Entering the first class, they face new restrictions. This may come from rudeness towards parents, quarrels with friends and comrades, ignoring the requests and orders of the teacher. If parents, in response to such behavior, shout at the child, punish him, this will lead to an aggravation of the crisis.
Aggression in a 7-year-old child can be provoked by an unhealthy psychological climate in the family, physical punishment for misconduct and poor academic performance, violent computer games, constant watching of films where the characters show aggression (mostly thrillers and action films), parenting settings (when the child is taught in response to act aggressively on aggression from another child, resorting to physical methods).
The aggressive behavior of schoolchildren may be associated with the imposition of a sense of elitism by parents. Children from wealthy families demand increased attention from teachers, honor and even worship from classmates. They feel they are chosen, they consider themselves “above others”. When others violate their illusion, do not confirm the existing settings, the child begins aggressive behavior.
Forms of aggressive behavior
There are two forms of aggressive behavior according to the method of manifestation:
- verbal (statements)
Verbal aggression is behavior when a person, being in normal mental health or with pathology, insults, humiliates and threatens with other words. This type of aggression, in turn, is direct and indirect.
Physical aggression is divided into three subspecies:
- symbolic (threats and intimidation)
- indirect (material damage)
- direct (actions that cause physical harm to a person or group of persons)
The real form of aggressive behavior is considered separately. This is the infliction of physical injury to people or animals. Any aggression is always contrary to the norms and rules of morality in society. Aggression is in most cases a form of reaction to a problem. It causes frustration, stress and other negative consequences.
Aggressive-passive behavior is a reaction to an existing or fictitious problem, which is characterized by a person’s attempt not to show negativity, discontent, but to hide it from others. This behavior includes postponing an important decision for your life. Aggressive-passive people see themselves as victims. Often they have addictions and fear of making any decisions, especially important ones.