In addition, factors that cause stress such as divorce or death increase the likelihood that a teenager will have aggressive tendencies (Peterson and Sheldon 2006). Additionally maternal depression, substance abuse or maternal anxiety can all lead to aggressive behaviors in teenagers (Peterson and Sheldon 2006).
According to Peterson and Sheldon (2006) teenage aggression can also be linked to neuropsychiatric disorders. In fact the authors asserts that
“Persistent aggressive behavior is a common feature in many neuropsychiatric disorders and is the most common reason for referral to a child and adolescent mental health clinic . Neurological features associated with aggression include low overall IQ and relative deficits in verbal learning, memory, and fluency . Deficits in executive functioning and working memory are also common  and may be especially pronounced with co-occurring attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”
The aggressive behavior can involve lashing out at family members, friends or strangers. The behavior is often associated with violent acts such as physical and sexual assault. Teenage aggression is an issue that parents and all adults who work with children should be concerned about. Such behavior can lead to life long problems for the aggressor and potential victims. As such several treatments have been developed to remedy teen aggression. These treatments will be discussed in the next section of this discussion.
Treatment for Adolescent Aggression
Teen aggression is a situation that can and should be treated. One of the most prevalent forms of is anger management. This particular tactic shows teens suffering form aggression issues how to channel there energy in a direction that is positive and not aggressive. According to Feindler (2005), ” In order to prevent an aggressive reaction to a triggering stimulus, it is necessary for youths to manage their anger arousal and process the interpersonal exchange such that a more prosocial response is exhibited. The anger management treatment protocols focus on the three hypothesized components of the anger experience: physiological responses, cognitive processes, and behavioral responses (Feindler).”
In addition in cases where anger consist of impulsive thoughts, cognitive distortions, or heightened physiological arousal the anger management intervention should focus on assisting the teenager in developing skills related to self-control.
For instance, the author explains, “For the physiological aspect, anger management first directs the client to identify the experience of anger, to label the various intensities of the emotion, and to recognize the early warning signs such as a flushed feeling or quickened heart rate. The experience of anger is validated as a normal and frequently occurring emotion that has an intensity range under the youths control (Feindler, 2005).”
Treatments can also include other types of therapy that are designed to help teenagers uncover the reasons for their anger. Once the reasons for the anger are apparent they can deal with the underlying issues and the aggression will decrease.
The purpose of this discussion is to examine the phenomenon of teen aggression from a social psychology perspective. The research indicates that there are a myriad of factors hat contribute to the development of teenage aggression. These factors include socioeconomic conditions, parenting, education level of parents and biological factors. Teenagers that display aggressive behavior often deal with delinquency issues that make it likely that they will have problems with the criminal justice system. Although teenage aggression is a serious problem, the research suggests that there are treatments that are available to teenagers with aggressive behavior. The most popular of these treatments is anger management which teaches teenagers self-control and how to recognize and diffuse their rage. When properly treated, teenage aggression is an issue that can be remedied but it necessitates the participation of parents and professionals in guiding the teenager in the proper direction.
Arseneault L, Tremblay RE, Boulerice B, (2002) Obstetrical complications and violent delinquency: testing two developmental pathways. Child Development, 73:496 — 508.
Dodge KA, Pettit GS (2003) A biopsychosocial model of the development of chronic conduct problems in adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 39:349 — 371.
Facts for teen Aggression. Retrieved November 26, 2009 from http://www.herkimercounty.org/content/Departments/View/11:field=services;/content/DepartmentServices/View/68:field=documents;/content/Documents/File/123.PDF
Feindler E.L. (2005) Adolescent Aggression and Anger Management. Encyclopedia of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Springer U.S.
Peterson, J., Sheldon C.(2006) Treating Persistent Adolescent Aggression. Current.