What Causes Aggressive Behavior in Young Children?

Written by caroline winnick
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What Causes Aggressive Behavior in Young Children?
Aggressive behaviour in childhood can become serious behaviour problems later in life. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Young children have taken a lesson from television and games, violence is acceptable. Aggressiveness in young children is a common problem. However, if left unchecked, violence in children can lead to behaviour problems later in life. Children must be taught that violence is not an acceptable solution to life's problems.

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Video Games

Children are spending more and more time inside playing video games. Video-game manufacturers have swamped the market with violent, bloody games, each more violent than the last. It is argued that video games have both positive and negative effects on children. Among the negative effects of such violent games is aggressive behaviour toward others.

Anger and Stress

Young children may not know how to express different emotions such as fear or sadness. Instead, they may express these emotions with anger. Young children can release this anger by hitting, kicking, biting or scratching others. Children placed under too much stress can also become aggressive because they do not know how to deal with stress. Low self esteem and isolation can also cause young children to become aggressive.


The theory that aggression in young children increases as the time spent watching violent television increases is gaining popularity. Many children spend their time inside watching television, which exposes them to violence. Many television shows and cartoons do not show the real-life consequences of violence. The violence children see on television can lead to increased aggression.

Family Environment

Young children learn by watching those around them, mainly their families. A child who observes family members hitting or kicking may begin to believe that such aggression is acceptable. More aggressive parental discipline measures, such as spanking or hitting, could lead young children to believe this behaviour, too, is normal and acceptable.

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