CHILDREN WITH AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR
There are many perspectives on how children develop aggressive behavior and how this all comes about. The first perspective is the classical theory, which relies on utilitarian concepts of reason and free will, and is used to explain theory and other modern understandings of aggression and anti social behavior in children. The second perspective is the more modern theory of biological factors, such as how biology and brain chemistry can explain aggression, mental disorders, and other antisocial behavior even resulting in criminality. “Anti social behavior appears to be a developmental trait that begins early in life and often continues into adolescence and adulthood. For many children stable manifestations of anti social behavior begin as early as elementary school grades” (Patterson et al., 1989). It is basically an argument between nature (biological) and nurture (classical). Today’s society is more prone to see nature as the possible answer to any number of problems than nurture. There has generally been a swing of biological understanding and classical understanding of criminal behavior throughout history that has been polarized on one side or another. For example, if we were living just after the second World War instead of in the 21st century, there would be a surfeit of data on environmental causes affecting the individual and a dearth of information about genetic causes. Today, it is just the opposite. Etiological studies focus on genetics and inheritance, but there are very few studies that focus on non-genetic and environmental factors. The basic argument of the current report is that children develop aggressive behavior because of a variety of factors. Article summaries
Johnson’s article looks at the specific topic of disruptive behavior in children, which does include aggressive behavior. Not all of the studies have to do explicitly with aggressive behavior, but some describe antisocial behavior or disruptive behavior that can be linked to aggression and the development of aggression. In this research experiment therefore the author wanted to test how disruptive students, who might also be aggressive students such as the student type of the disruptive bully, would relate in terms of their behavior as a predictor of academic scores as well as correlated with IQ scores for the children. The author’s article is very complete and in depth in terms of providing statistics and empirical results not about the roots of disruptive behavior, but about their relationship to other factors. Johnson’s study is a quantitative study by nature, which seeks to define a certain hypothesis among a set of variables and then go about proving this with empirical tests. This allows less for theory generation and awareness of limitations and more for alignment or non alignment with hypothetical conditions. The study finds that “Disruptive behavior may be associated with poor academic achievement due to covariance with attention problems and low IQ… the authors observed this pattern of association in 11 year olds. About 75% of variance in latent inattention behavior and school variables was genetic… those on disruptive behavior were less associated” (Johnson, 2005). It is worth mentioning that the article doesn’t really go into the whole debate about what IQ score really means in terms of socio economic class and the access that there exists in this class to privileged classes and not to others. However otherwise the study is very complete.
Sutton et al.’s article looks at the socio-psychological concept of the insecure attachment, which can in effect cause the child to later go in the opposite direction of separation anxiety and show patterns of avoidance, resisting behaviors, aggression and disorganization that can affect the child in later years. “Maltreated infants often form insecure attachments, characterized by either avoidance of the caregiver,...
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Johnson, W (2005). Disruptive behavior and school grades. Journal of Educational
Liu, J. (2004). Concept analysis: Aggression. Issues in Mental Health 25(7) 693-714.
Patterson, G, DeBaryshe, B and R Ramsey (2189). A developmental perspective on anti
social behavior. American Psychologist
Sutton, S.E., Cowen, E.L., Crean, H.F., et. al (1999). Pathways to aggression in young,
highly stressed urban children. Child Study Journal 29(1), pp. 49-68.
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