Aggression and violence during childhood and adolescence have been the focus of much research over the past several decades (e. G. , Lobber & Hay, 1997; Looses, 1979). These researchers have found that serious forms of aggression remain relatively stable from childhood through adulthood. Two recent studies further examined the hypothesis that middle school students opt to bully their peers to “FLT In” (Pellagra, Barnum, &: Brooks, 999; Ordain et al. 2000). This form of peer pressure indicates that bullies are indeed victims of bullying themselves. Pipelining and colleagues found that bullying enhanced within-group status and popularity among middle scholars. Similarly, Ordain and colleagues, In a study of 452 fourth- through sixth-grade boys, found 13. 1% were rated as both aggressive and popular by their teachers. Furthermore, 1 OFF number of “cool” ratings from peers. These two studies however, do not examine how the influence of the peer group on bullying behaviors differs across sex, grade, or bevel of peer group status.
A study by Spillages and Holt (2001) found that bullies as a group enjoyed a strong friendship network (cohesion). Closer examination of the peer groups in this sample resulted in the understanding that students not only befriended peers who bully at similar rates but that students also reported an increase in bullying if their primary peer group bullied others (Spillages, Holt, & Hinkle, in press). The latest research conducted at the intersection of neuroscience, behavioral genetics and developmental psychology lay emphasis on the parents ND their ability to control and manage the feelings of aggression.
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A child belonging to such parents may be less likely to behave aggressively in the future. If, on the other hand, a child gets the idea that his feelings are “bad” and “wrong”, these feelings don’t go away. They Just become disconnected from the child’s sense of who he is. If a child does not have a way to think about his feelings, he is likely to simply act them out. Children who continue, as they grow up, to behave in aggressive ways that are inappropriate for their age are often describes as “impulsive. Impulsive eternally means to act without thinking. A child needs to learn from the adults around him how to think about his feelings. All of which points to two very specific needs. Our society must support parents in the challenging task of being fully present emotionally with their young children. We must provide a high quality and accessible mental healthcare system to support families in their efforts to help children who are struggling to contain and manage their aggression in the school setting.
An acceptance of and respect for healthy aggression may in the long run decrease the sis of another Columbine. Ironically, literature on interventions for general aggression reveals that most of the interventions are geared toward the individual. Altering the context without a focus on changing individuals and vice versa is a limiting approach. It ignores the multiple individual and contextual factors that influence bullying. The most promising programs are those that focus on intervening at the levels of the individual and the broader contexts in which children and youth are nested.