File Name: aggression and violent behavior .zip
Aggressive and Violent Behavior
Table 2 lists a selection of these verbs grouped into eight heuristic categories, namely inflicting physical injuries bite, hit, rape, wound , engaging in confrontational conflicts argue, fight, quarrel , using coercive power abuse, coerce, intimidate, terrorize , using group-level coercive power conquer, raid, battle , withdrawing support from dependents abandon, neglect, starve , inflicting reputational losses disregard, insult, tease, provoke , retaliating avenge, retaliate , and inflicting personal harm by taking or destroying somebody's property burn, destroy, rob, vandalize.
These behaviors would not constitute aggression according to the proposed definition. Second, aggressive acts vary widely in the level of 'intentionality'.
Items like "reacting aggressively when teased" involve little intent. However, they probably belong to the construct of aggression as they imply a goal-directed antagonistic response aimed at countering a primary hostile act. Third, the definition does not limit aggression to norm-breaking or morally wrongful behaviors.
For example, acts of self-defense in reaction to a threat, punitive action, and coercive acts by legitimate agents of state control are aggressions by the terms of this definition. In developmental research, aggression is usually interpreted as a subdomain of the broader category of externalizing behaviors, an umbrella term for all antagonistic behaviors directed at the external environment.
It comprises aggressive, defiant and disruptive, as well as hyperactive and impulsive behaviors Liu, The notion of antisocial behavior refers to aggressive and non-aggressive behaviors that break social and legal norms but not to the spectrum of ADHD-related behaviors. For adolescents, the term antisocial behavior is often used interchangeably with delinquency or crime, although it covers behaviors such as bullying that are not subject to criminal law sanctions.
When used for children, the notion of antisocial behavior usually refers to a group of behaviors that includes aggression, oppositional behavior, and status violations. Violence comprises acts of physical force intended to cause physical pain. This definition combines three domains, namely self-directed violence such as suicide, interpersonal violence defined by criminal law, and collective violence including war, genocide, torture, or terrorism.
The present review is limited to interpersonal violence, i. Where Does Aggression Come From? Where do aggression and violence come from?
Much developmental research interprets this question as a question about the ontogenetic origins of differences between individuals. Empirically, this perspective leads to an emphasis on factors such as brain dysfunction, the learning of aggressive scripts, inadequate socialization, moral deficits, or exposure to aversive life-events.
Theoretically, it results in a 'violence-as-pathology' model, whereby non-normative characteristics of the individual or the environment explain the aggressive behavior. However, it does not answer the phylogenetic question about the species-wide roots of aggressive behaviors and the astonishing similarities in the mechanisms that trigger aggressive behavior patterns across cultures and over time.
Aggression as Adaptive BehaviorQuestions about the phylogenetic roots of aggression and violence require a framework that examines the universal mechanisms associated with violence amongst all humans, in all cultures, at all times Eisner, Its general questions are: What functions has aggression amongst human beings? What problems is aggression designed to solve? And where do the neurological and psychological mechanisms involved in aggressive responding come from?
Within an evolutionary framework, aggression is seen as a facultative adaptation, i. These mechanisms are assumed to have evolved during the environment of evolutionary adaptation Bowlby, because the psychological mechanisms associated with, for example, being a good fighter or effectively deterring a potential attacker through convincing anger displays probabilistically conferred bearers of these abilities greater chances for reproduction over the millions of years during which the neuro-cognitive and physical characteristics of humans were being shaped.
The notion that the neuro-cognitive mechanisms involved in the aggressive behavior of children, adolescents and adults have an evolutionary basis does not presume a primordial war of all against all. Rather, it assumes a complex interrelation between evolved mechanisms that support executive control, cooperation, compassion, and friendship, and mechanisms that bring forth jealousy, revenge, hatred, anger, and rage.
Arguments in support of an adaptationist perspective on aggression come from several sides: Evidence from anthropological, historical, and archaeological research indicates that intra-specific violence was an important selective force throughout the history of the human species until very recently Eisner, ;Pinker, Furthermore, some fundamental developmental patterns associated with aggression amongst humans look surprisingly similar to those amongst non-human primates, especially our closest relatives, the chimpanzees: This includes Development of Aggression 9 rough and tumble play during childhood Flanders et al.
One is co-opting the resources of others. Humans stockpile considerable amounts of attractive goods including toys, food, weapons and land. Gaining access to these scarce goods is an important goal, and humans use several strategies such as trickery or cooperative exchange to achieve it.
But one of the options is aggression, especially if the owners appear weaker than the protagonists. Proactive aggression to co-opt attractive goods can be observed during the second year of life, and raids on owners of toys, food, jackets, or mobile telephones remain a core element of bullying from early to late childhood Tremblay, A second function of aggression is defense against attack.
The assumption here is that, in the presence of conspecifics interested in co-opting one's goods or taking one's life, the chance for survival depends on defensive abilities. A third hypothesis proposed by Buss is that aggression serves to increase status and power within social hierarchies. Aggression is not always a successful strategy. But especially in contexts characterized by the absence of central authority or contested hierarchy the use of force is a promising avenue for dominance, which in turn is associated with access to valuable resources Pellegrini, In this vein Guerra , p.
It is relatively easy to learn and can be Development of Aggression 10 'traded' for power, control, resources, respect, status, and other desired outcomes. Access to valuable members of the other sex is a valuable resource, and aggression against competitors can yield benefits. Aggression against same-sex competitors can include attempts to lower the others' reputation, for example by spreading damaging rumors about their characters, making detrimental remarks about their ability to control their partners' sexual behaviour McMaster et al.
It may also involve the public staging of fights which make differences in 'formidability' Sell et al. Aggression as PsychopathologyThe dominant perspective in the developmental science literature is that aggression is primarily maladaptive.
Especially more extreme and persistent manifestations of aggressive behavior are interpreted as part of a broader set of mental disorders such as oppositionaldefiant disorder or conduct disorder see below, section 4. Extensive evidence shows that persistent aggression is dysfunctional under peaceful social conditions: For example, aggressive children are more likely to be rejected by other children, they do less well at school, and they are more likely to suffer from symptoms of mental disorder including depression, ADHD, and schizophrenia Connor, Within this framework, the origins of aggression are generally traced back to various risk and resilience influences that increase or decrease the likelihood of aggression.
Risk factor research has identified hundreds of factors that are probabilistically associated with differences in aggressive behavior over the life-course Farrington, ;Farrington and Loeber, ;Ribeaud and Eisner, Widely accepted individual risk factors include genetic risks, impulsivity, low intelligence, low arousal, antisocial beliefs, and low empathy.
Biological risk factors associated with external influences include exposure to pathogens such as lead, birth complications, or child malnutrition.
Family-related risk factors replicated across studies comprise, for example, parental criminality, child abuse and neglect, poor emotional bonds with parents or caregivers, low parental involvement, and poor family functioning.
Schoolrelated individual risk factors comprise truancy, low academic motivation and poor relationships with teachers, while school-level risk factors include high levels of classroom disruption and poor school functioning.
At the level of peers, violent behavior is associated with antisocial peers, gang membership, and rejection by more prosocial children. Neighborhood level characteristics implied in an increased likelihood of aggressive behavior include high concentrated social disadvantage, low social cohesion, and high levels of crime.
Finally, at the level of whole societies, associations have been found between violence and characteristics such as high social inequality, social cleavages associated with a lack of interdependence, and poor state functioning, including a lack of state legitimacy Eisner, There is not yet a consistent terminology on the notion of protective factors. But most authors conceptualize direct protective factors as antecedent characteristics that predict a low probability of violence or aggression.
If their effect is linear, they can be seen as the inverse of risk factors. Moreover, Loeber and Farrington have drawn attention to the possibility of non-linear effects, whereby only the 'protective' or the 'risk' tail of a predictor variable may be associated with variation in aggressive behavior.
Amongst others it presents findings from four separate longitudinal studies on the effects of presumed protective factors measured at ages on violence during adolescence ages Of the 92 tests for associations with violence perpetration conducted across the four studies, authors identified fewer direct i. Mixed factors i. However, findings were only partly consistent across studies : For example, in the Pittsburgh Youth Study high academic achievement was found to be a protective factor.
In contrast, in the Seattle Social Development Project study youth-reported low grades were a risk factor; and in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health the grade point average was found to be both a protective and a risk factor. Generally, approaches that interpret aggression as maladaptive behavior rest on three normative pillars. The first is the broad consensus that children should develop to be socially competent, empathetic, and morally responsible individuals who have good chances to lead fulfilled and contented lives.
The second is that, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , humans have a universal right to be protected from harm and victimization by others, meaning that aggression is considered wrong.
Third, many risk factors associated with aggression are in themselves widely held to be undesirable conditions Development of Aggression 13 that reduce the welfare and well-being of individuals at all stages of the life course, meaning that efforts to eliminate or reduce them are desirable. ConclusionsAt first sight, the adaptionist perspective offered by work premised on evolutionary psychology and the more widely held view of aggression as a maladaptive phenomenon seem to be at odds with each other.
However, an increasing number of researchers recognize the possibility of integrating views of aggression as adaptive and as maladaptive behavior. We outline two areas where such integration may be fruitful: First, the majority of processes and risk factors associated with individual differences in aggressiveness and the prompting of aggressive action in specific situations appear to be cross-culturally universal. We thus need to explain why children and adolescents are more likely to behave aggressively in circumstances such as being teased or treated unfairly, why high fearlessness and riskseeking are associated with higher risk of aggressiveness, or why homicide peaks amongst men at around ages across the world.
Evolutionary theory, as Bjorklund andPellegrini , p. Second, neuro-biological work increasingly identifies specific areas in the brain implicated in aggression-related emotions such as anger and rage as well as in the cognitive mechanisms that control impulses, allow long-term rational planning, and bring forth complex abilities such as compassion and conscience Raine, The unfolding of these mechanisms in each individual is critically shaped by the exposure to risk and protective factors as a child grows up.
But a theory of how the phylogenetic architecture of the underlying neurocognitive processes e. Moreover, understanding the universal mechanismsindividual, social and political -that promote justice, fairness, and compassion rather than anger and aggression in human beings can help to inform strategies aimed at effectively reducing aggression and violence Guerra, The Development of Aggression and Violence: Cross-Cutting ThemesThe volume of research on human aggression makes it increasingly difficult to organize empirical evidence and theoretical perspectives.
In the following section, we propose six cross-cutting questions that can help to structure current developmental Population Heterogeneity and State DependenceProbably the most salient question in developmental research relates to the causes of stability and change in aggression over the life course. In the early s, Nagin and Paternoster introduced a distinction that helps to organize the main theoretical perspectives.
State-dependence theories, in contrast, assume behavioral plasticity in that individuals' behaviors change in response to external forces: Hence the continuity of aggression is seen as the result of the stability of the social context, which keeps generating the causal mechanisms that lead to aggressive behavior.
State-dependence theories do not deny the lasting influence of early risk factors. Turning PointsPopulation heterogeneity and state dependence are not necessarily mutually exclusive assumptions.
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Aggressive behavior can cause physical or emotional harm to others. It may range from verbal abuse to physical abuse. It can also involve harming personal property. Aggressive behavior violates social boundaries. It can lead to breakdowns in your relationships. It can be obvious or secretive. Occasional aggressive outbursts are common and even normal in the right circumstances.
International Handbook of Violence Research pp Cite as. Most of the research in social psychology on harm doing behavior is conceived as aggression. There is no separate basic research area on violence, although sometimes high levels of aggression or inflicting physical harm are referred to as violence. The same causal factors that instigate aggressive behavior are assumed to also generate violent behavior. Examination of recent textbooks in social psychology indicate that they all have a chapter on aggression, but violence is only mentioned as a descriptive term referring to content of television programs or violent crimes.
Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Singh and R. Singh , R. Aggression is a response by an individual that delivers something unpleasant to another person.
Once production of your article has started, you can track the status of your article via Track Your Accepted Article. Help expand a public dataset of research that support the SDGs. Aggression and Violent Behavior, A Review Journal is a multidisciplinary journal that publishes substantive and integrative reviews, as well as summary reports of innovative ongoing clinical research programs on a wide range of topics germane to the field of aggression and violent behavior.
There is a great concern about the incidence of violent behavior among children and adolescents. This complex and troubling issue needs to be carefully understood by parents, teachers, and other adults. Children as young as preschoolers can show violent behavior. Parents and other adults who witness the behavior may be concerned, however, they often hope that the young child will "grow out of it.
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