Aggression is a behavior that is inappropriately physical, usually in a forceful manner, and/or verbal, and that is aimed at another person or property. Examples of this include hitting others, kicking others, pinching, hair-pulling, screaming obscenities or insults, punching holes in walls, and other forms of property destruction. Aggression can have many functions (the purpose the behavior serves for the child), but a key deficit is usually in communication skills.

Teaching the child how to appropriately communicate what the child wants and what the child doesn’t like is the first step to eliminating the child feeling the need to resort to aggression to get wants/needs met. Teaching the child good conflict resolution skills, Theory of Mind skills (e.g., other peoples’ perspectives and why others behave the way they do), and how to appropriately and more safely express and talk about emotions can also decrease a child resorting to aggressive behaviors.

Use the downloadable data sheet below to help track the frequency of a specific behavior:

click to download the PDF data sheet ABC data collection

click to download the PDF data sheet  Behavior frequency data sheet

click to download the PDF glossary Glossary