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According to Merriam-Webster aggression is hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook especially when caused by frustration. Aggression is often the expression of pent-up rage. It is very common in young children, however, if not addressed early on it will continue through adolescents and later in life.
Aggression can be caused by many different factors, which is at times is considered part of a normal developmental stage; never the less aggression can also be caused by mood disorders, frustration and impulse disorders.
Development of aggression in children depends upon a variety of factors such as the intensity of their motivation i.e., their desire to hurt someone, the amount of environmental frustration, their examination and replication.
Instrumental aggression, is inadvertent and does not target a particular person. It is common for a preschool child to act aggressively so that they can get or recover an object that they want. This child lacks self-control and has a specific goal in mind causing the aggression not a cruel intent.
As the child develops they learn: to control their emotions, to vocalize their desires, develop empathy, care and concern for others.
Whereas hostile aggression there is intent to hurt someone whether it is physical or verbal. This type of aggression in more common in older children and young children. However, this type of aggression at an early age should send a red flag to the child’s caregiver because it is associated with antisocial behavior and adjustment problems in late childhood and adolescence (Hoy, Perry, 264).
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a disorder that is characterized by problems with paying attention, excessive activity or difficulty controlling behavior. Some children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a hard time managing their impulses. They tend to get stuck in negative space which makes it difficult for them to move on. Their behavior will escalate even acting out at another child, they tend not to learn from their wrongdoings.
The difficulty managing their emotions can contribute to aggressive behavior. They become overwhelmed with emotions and a small problem becomes a major problem to them. Such challenges make it difficult for children to keep their frustration in perspective which can lead them to lash out. Children with ADHD often have other conditions that can add to aggressive behavior such as oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, and depression (Kelly).
A study was conducted the findings suggest that family factors affect aggressive behaviors in children with ADHD and home and in school, cognitive factors attribute to aggression. The study implies that preventative and intervention program for aggressive behaviors that focus on the cognitive factors, and perception of acceptance and rejection by the child’s parent may have an important impact (Ercan, Elif, et al., 12).
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