Aggression in young people is an important social issue. Children and youth who behave aggressively may harm not only themselves, but also their families, their communities and society at large.
Research shows us that children with serious aggression problems are more likely than children without such problems to become teenagers who have problems with aggression, other mental health issues or substance use—and as adults they are more likely to engage in acts of violence.
The earlier a young person with an aggression problem is identified and receives help, the greater the chance that the chosen treatment will have lasting benefits.
Aggression is an action or threat of action that is intended to harm another person, either physically or psychologically.
There isn’t a simple reason to explain why someone behaves aggressively. However, we do know that there are characteristics of children, youth, their families and their environments that can either increase (risk factors) or decrease (protective factors) the likelihood that they will display aggressive behaviour. Some of these are listed below.
Working to minimize risk factors and enhance protective factors can help reduce or eliminate aggressive behaviour.