Relationship to Rearing Practices

Although human aggression may have an instinctual component, aggression is modifiable by environmental factors, such as child-rearing practices and parental characteristics.

Aggressive children often develop in families with a low degree of positive interactions and a high degree of punitive reciprocity. Children in such families learn to control other family members through aggression. This model of control behavior in the home is then generalized to peers. This process thus creates aggressive children.

Research focused on parental characteristics found that mothers of nonaggressive girls tended to use the strategy of discussion to solve social problems more often than mothers of aggressive girls. Fathers of nonaggressive girls had more alternative strategies for solving social problems than fathers of aggressive girls.

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