What is Aggressive Behavior

Causes of aggressive behavior in children and teens along with how to treat me

Aggressive behavior is reactionary and impulsive behavior that often results in breaking household rules or the law. Aggressive behavior is violent and unpredictable.

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. When one engages in aggressive behavior, they may feel irritable and restless. One may feel impulsive. One may find it hard to control your behavior. One might not know which behaviors are socially appropriate. In other cases, one might act aggressively on purpose.

Basic Causes

Many things can shape your behavior. These can include your:

  • physical health
  • mental health
  • family structure
  • relationships with others
  • work or school environment
  • societal or socioeconomic factors
  • individual traits
  • life experiences

Causes In Children

Aggression in children can be caused by several factors. These can include:

  • poor relationship skills
  • underlying health conditions
  • stress or frustration

Your child might imitate aggressive or violent behavior that they see in their daily life. They may receive attention from family members, teachers, or peers. You can accidentally encourage it by ignoring or rewarding their aggressive behavior.

Children with ADHD or other disruptive disorders may show a lack of attention or understanding. They may also appear impulsive. In some cases, these behaviors may be considered aggressive. This is especially true in situations when their behaviors are socially unacceptable.

Causes In Teens

Aggressive behavior in teenagers is common. For example, many teens act rudely or get into arguments sometimes. However, your teen might have a problem with aggressive behavior if they regularly:

  • yell during arguments
  • get into fights
  • bully others

In some cases, they may act aggressively in response to:

  • stress
  • peer pressure
  • substance abuse
  • unhealthy relationships with family members or others


If you don’t deal with your aggression, it can lead to more aggressive and violent behavior. However, there are treatment options available for aggressive behavior. Following your doctor’s recommended treatment plan may help you gain control before you cause harm to yourself or others.

Aggressive behavior rarely happens without a reason. Identifying the root causes of aggressive behavior can help you avoid situations that trigger it. Speak with your doctor to learn how to identify and treat the underlying causes of your aggressive behavior.

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