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Concept Analysis: Aggression


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Aggression is a noun that is generally defined as an act of aggressive behavior. Aggressive forms of behavior can be characterized by verbal or physical attack. Aggression may be either appropriate (e.g., self-protective) or, alternatively, it may be destructive to the self and other.

What is aggression?

The concept of aggression is used in many different contexts. Importantly, it has been applied to animal behavior as well as human behavior. It is used to describe personality and attitudes, as well as to characterize behavior in both children and adults.

Analysis impact

The aim of this analysis is to describe the different forms and manifestations of aggression, as well as to describe its causes and consequences in humans.  A better understanding of aggression and the causal factors underlying it is essential for learning how to prevent negative aggression in the future.

Although different classification systems for aggression have been proposed, as seen below, these typologies tend to overlap somewhat, with each system having a slightly different emphasis. The forms of types of aggression that are reviewed consist of the clinical classification, the stimulus-based classification, the instrumental versus hostile classification, and the positive versus negative classification.

Concept Analysis: Aggression

Clinical Classification

he first form is called affective,” “reactive,” “defensive,” “impulsive,” or “hot-blooded” aggression. This type of aggression is defined as a violent response to physical or verbal aggression initiated by others that is relatively uncontrolled and emotionally charged. In contrast, the second form of aggression is referred to as “predatory,” “instrumental,” “proactive,” or “cold-blooded” aggression. This type of aggression is characterized as controlled, purposeful aggression lacking in emotion that is used to achieve a desired goal, including the domination and control of others

Stimulus-based classification

Internal stimuli and external stimuli are important antecedents of aggression. He classified aggressive behavior according to seven stimulus situations that elicited the behavior. These antecedent stimuli are as follows:

  • Predatory aggression, stimulated by the presence of a natural object of prey
  • Inter-male aggression, stimulated by the presence of a novel male con specific in a neutral arena
  • Fear-induced aggression stimulated by threats and always preceded by escape attempts.
  • Irritable aggression, stimulated by the presence of any attachable object. The tendency to display irritable aggression is enhanced by any stressor, such as isolation, electrical shock, and food deprivation.
  • Territorial aggression, stimulated by the presence of an intruder in the home or territory of a resident
  • Maternal aggression, stimulated by a threatening stimulus in the proximity of the mother’s young
  • Instrumental aggression, stimulated by any of the situations already described, but strengthened by learning

    When is aggression a serious problem?

    All children have to learn how to deal with anger and frustration. Many toddlers go through a phase of temper tantrums, where they yell and scream and swing their arms and legs when they’re upset. School-age children may throw things or get into a fight on the playground. As they grow, most children learn from adults- and from other children- how to express anger or handle conflict in a way that doesn’t hurt others.

    What can increase the risk of aggression in youth?

    A child or teen’s home life and other surroundings can raise the risk of aggression. Children may become aggressive if they:

    • See violence in their neighborhood.
    • Feel pressure to join a gang.
    • Live in a home with weapons.
    • Use alcohol or drugs.
    • Are being bullied.
    • Live in a home with parents who are aggressive, have marital problems, or have a problem with drugs or alcohol.
    • Spend a lot of time without adult supervision.
    • Have parents who discipline with harsh language and spanking.
    • Watch violent movies or TV programs or play violent video games.

      How can you prevent aggression in your child?

      Set rules and consequences

      • Make house rules for your family. Let your child know the consequences (such as loss of certain privileges) for not following the rules.
      • If you say you will take away a privilege, do it. It can be hard to follow through when your child says he or she is sorry. But your child needs to know you mean what you say.
      • Create a chart with rules and chores for younger children. Your child can earn stars or other stickers for completed chores or good behavior. These stars can be turned in for privileges, such as more play time or a game night with the family.


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