How important is it?

Synthesis of experts' texts - April 2012

Topic Editor: Richard E. Tremblay, PhD, Université de Montréal, Canada and University College Dublin, Ireland
Topic funded by: Margaret & Wallace McCain Family Foundation

Most parents of first born are shocked and understandably worried when they see their infant child attempt to hit them when angry. Very few parents expecting their first child know that beautiful young babies express anger with hits and kicks long before they learn to walk. The frequency of physical aggressions increases with age over the first three to four years after birth. Physical aggression is the leading problem in child care centres and the leading reason why preschool children with behaviour problems are referred for clinical help. However, persistent physical aggression usually does not happen in isolation; it frequently co-occurs with other developmental problems like emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, inattention, and delays in language and communication skills. Studies that followed large cohorts of children over many years showed that persistent physical aggression increased the risk for later juvenile delinquency and adult violence.


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