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Aggressive behavior of children

Aggressive behavior of children – the verbal and physical activity directed to infliction of harm to own health, people, animal, external objects. It is based on negative emotions, desire to do much harm. It is shown by disobedience, irritability, cruelty, insults, slander, threats, refusals of communication, acts of violence (stings, blows). It is diagnosed by the psychiatrist, the psychologist. The research is conducted by method of a conversation, observation, questionnaires, questionnaires, projective tests are used. Treatment includes group, individual psychotherapy – training in ways of control of emotions, to safe expression of rage.

Aggressive behavior of children

The aggressive behavior comes to light at children of all age. Initially serves as way of expression of negative emotions – irritations, anger, rage. Observing result of such behavior, the child estimates his usefulness. Again it shows aggression with a definite purpose – to catch toys, food, to draw attention of parents, to prove force, the importance, to subordinate people around. The more often the desirable is reached, the aggression is fixed in behavior stronger, becoming quality of character. It is difficult to define prevalence of this phenomenon as each child during life shows aggression. At boys it arises earlier, has open character. At girls it is shown indirectly.

Reasons of aggressive behavior of children

The reasons of aggression are various – the collected emotional pressure, inability to put into words offense, a lack of attention of adults, desire to receive others toy, to show force to peers. Often children do harm to people around or themselves because feel helplessness, grief, offense, but cannot understand own state, do not own communicative skills for solution of the problem. Allocate the following groups of the reasons of aggression:

  • Family relations. Formation of aggression is promoted by demonstration of cruelty, violence, disrespect, the frequent conflicts in a family, indifference of parents. The child copies behavior of mother, the father – argues, provokes fights, openly shows anger, disobedience for the purpose of drawing attention.
  • Personal features. Instability of an emotional state is shown by embitternment, irritation. Through aggression the fear, fatigue, feeling sick is expressed, sense of guilt, the underestimated self-assessment is compensated.
  • Features of nervous system. Children with the TsNS unbalanced weak type are inclined to aggression. They transfer loadings worse, are less steady against influence of physical and psychological discomfort.
  • Social and biological factors. Expressiveness of aggression is defined by a sex of the child, role expectations, a social status. To boys it is quite often put some idea that the man has to be able to fight, "to hit back".
  • Situational factors. Emotional lability of children's age is shown by tantrums, irascibilities at casual influence of external adverse events. Bad school note, need to perform homeworks, the physical discomfort caused by hunger, a tiresome trip can provoke the child.


Physiological basis of aggression of children is the imbalance of processes of excitement braking of TsNS, functional immaturity of the separate structures of a brain which are responsible for control of emotions, behavior. At influence of an irritant excitement prevails, braking process "is late". Psychological base of children's aggression – low ability to self-control, lack of the developed skills of communication, dependence on adults, an unstable self-assessment. Children's aggression – a way of removal of tension at emotional, intellectual loadings, feeling sick. The purposeful aggressive behavior is focused on receiving the desirable, protection of own interests.


The set of classifications of aggressive behavior is developed. On an orientation of actions distinguish heteroaggression – causing damage to people around, and an autoaggression – harming themselves. On an etiologichesky sign allocate the jet aggression arising as reaction to external factors, and spontaneous, motivated by internal impulses. Classification by a manifestation form has practical value:

  • Expressional aggression. Demonstration methods – intonation, a mimicry, gestures, poses. Diagnostic difficult option. Aggressive acts are not realized or denied by the child.
  • Verbal aggression. Is implemented by means of words – insults, threats, abuse. The most widespread option among girls schoolgirls.
  • Physical aggression. Damage is caused with use of physical force. This form is widespread among children of early age, school students (boys).

Symptoms of aggressive behavior of children

Basic manifestations of aggression are observed at babies about one year. At kids of 1-3 years the conflicts arise because of assignment of toys, other personal belongings. Children bite, pushed, fight, throw objects, are spat, shout. Attempts of parents to stop reactions of the child punishments aggravate a situation. At preschool children physical expression of aggression is observed less often as the speech actively develops, its communicative function accustoms. The need for communication increases, but productive interaction is interfered by egocentricity, inability to accept foreign point of view, objectively to assess an interaction situation. There are misunderstanding, offenses generating verbal aggression – abuse, insults, threats.

Younger school students have basic level of self-checking, are capable to suppress aggression as a way of expression of offense, displeasure, fear. At the same time, they actively use it for protection of interests, upholding of the point of view. Gender features of aggression begin to be defined. Boys act openly, use physical force – fight, put footboards, "click" on a forehead. Girls choose indirect and verbal ways – sneers, assignment of nicknames, gossips, ignoring, silence. At representatives of both floors signs of the underestimated self-assessment, depressions are defined.

At teenage age aggression arises as result of hormonal reorganization and the emotional lability accompanying this period, complication of social contacts. There is a need to prove the importance, force, a demand. Aggression or is suppressed, replaced with productive kinds of activity, or takes the extreme forms – young men and girls fight, put to rivals of a mutilation, make attempts of a suicide.


The frequent aggression supported by education is fixed by unsuccessful domestic surroundings in qualities of the identity of the child. To teenage age characterologic lines on the basis of anger, embitternment, offense are formed. Develop accentuation, a psychopathia – personal frustration with prevalence of aggression. The risk of social disadaptation, deviant behavior, offenses increases. At an autoaggression children do harm to themselves, make suicide attempts.


Diagnostics of aggressive behavior of children is urgent with an excessive frequency, expressiveness of manifestations. The decision to address the psychiatrist, to the psychologist is formed at parents independently or after the recommendation of teachers. A basis of diagnostic process is the clinical conversation. The doctor listens to complaints, finds out the anamnesis, in addition studies characteristics from kindergarten, school. The objective research includes application of special psychodiagnostic methods:

  • Questionnaires, observation. Parents, teachers are offered to respond to a number of questions/statements about features of behavior of the child. Observation is made according to the scheme including a number of criteria. Results allow to establish an aggression form, its expressiveness, the reasons.
  • Personal questionnaires. Are applied to inspection of teenagers. Reveal existence of aggression in the general structure of the personality, ways of her compensation. Widespread techniques – Leongarda-Shmishek's questionnaire, a patokharakterologichesky diagnostic questionnaire (Lichko).
  • Pictural tests. Expressiveness of symptoms, the reasons, extramental emotions is determined by features of drawings. Tests the Nonexistent animal, the Cactus, the Person are used.
  • Interpretative tests. Treat projective methods, reveal the extramental, hidden experiences of the child. Examination is conducted by Test of frustratsionny reactions of Rosenzweig, the Hand-test (the test of a hand).

Treatment of aggressive behavior of children

At the expressed aggression correction is required by psychotherapy methods. Application of medicines is proved when anger, impulsiveness, embitternment are symptoms of a mental disorder (a psychopathia, sharp psychosis). It is impossible to cure aggression forever, it will arise at the child in certain life situations. A task of psychologists, psychotherapists – to help to resolve personal problems, to train in adequate ways of expression of feelings, permissions of conflict situations. Treat widespread methods of correction:

  • Game exercises. Are presented by express methods of safe expression of aggression. The child is offered to splash out anger, irritation, rage without harm for people around. Ball games, are used by bulks, water, "anger leaves".
  • Communication trainings. Group work allows the child to develop effective strategies of communication, ways of expression of emotions, upholding of the position without prejudice to others. Children receive feedback (reaction of participants), analyze progress, mistakes with the psychotherapist.
  • Relaxation occupations. Are directed to reduction of uneasiness, emotional tension – the factors increasing risk of flashes of aggression. Children study to restore deep breath, to reach muscular relaxation, to switch attention.

Forecast and prevention

The aggressive behavior of children is successfully corrected at joint efforts of parents, teachers, psychologists. Forecast in most cases favorable. To prevent aggression fixing as preferable way of interaction, it is necessary to adhere to harmonious style of education, to show ways of settling of the conflicts peacefully, to be respectful to the child, to allow manifestations of anger in a safe form. You should not focus attention on insignificant aggressive acts. Discussing aggression manifestations, it is important to speak about actions, but not about personal qualities ("you arrived cruelly", but not "you cruel").

Aggressive behavior of children - treatment should be carried out only under the supervision of a doctor. Self-treatment is unacceptable!!!

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