Term Paper: Aggressive Behavior in 10-Year-Olds

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Aggressive Behavior in Ten-Year-Olds: A Comparison of Cognitive and Socio-Cultural Perspectives

Persistent and/or escalating aggressive behavior in pre-adolescent children can be especially troubling for parents, educators, counselors, and physicians, and not simply because of the ethical questions involved in the treatment of the problem through the use of pharmaceuticals. The underlying cause of these ethical concerns -- the lack of an explanation for such behavior in many cases -- is also a troubling issue, and one that certainly warrants examination. The problem is, the various perspectives that have been brought to bear on the question are not in complete agreement as to the ultimate cause of aggressive behavior in re-adolescent children, or in the means of correcting such behaviors.

Some of the most famous experiments in this realm were those conducted by Albert Bandura, in which he showed children a video exhibiting aggressive behavior. In a subsequent portion of the experiment, these children engaged in more aggressive behavior, signaling a cognitive relationship to the behavior (Dakota 2009). Even the famous Pavlovian reaction to repeated stimuli has been theorized to have a cognitive basis of expectation at work, moving further away form a behaviorist perspective and into a more cognitive understanding of impulses and reactions (Dakota 2009). From this perspective, aggressive behavior would most often be the cause of learned patterns, however such behaviors can occur in infancy and without any noticeable model for instruction or observation (Anderson & Huesmann 2003). While there does seem to be a cognitive aspect to aggressive behavior, then, it does not appear to be simply an issue of learned behaviors.

Another perspective sees aggression not as something that is cognitively learned, but rather that is shaped, even as early late childhood, by a combination of social pressures and negotiations that establish… [END OF PREVIEW]

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