Abusive Early Child Rearing and Early Childhood Aggression (Excerpt) Abusive Early Child Rearing and Early Childhood Aggression (Excerpt)
By Roy C. Herrenkohl & M. Jean Russo, Lehigh University
Source: http://cmx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/6/1/3

...Childhood aggression is significant for children, their families, and the society because aggressive children often become violent adolescents...

...Parents who are more affluent are more likely to have experienced positive parenting themselves. They have sufficient skills and resources to cope more adequately with many stresses. They also have available social and economic buffers, which can assist them when needed. By contrast, poverty level parents are more likely to have experienced harsh negative parenting. They are more likely to be burdened by economic stresses with which they are ill equipped to cope. They also live where there are few supportive resources...

...The experience of secure, nurturing interactions results in expectations that [the child] is valued and will be protected. This, in turn, is associated with an inclination to expect positive relations with others both within and outside the family. A child’s experience of harsh, negative interactions and a lack of nurturance will result in a feeling of vulnerability and of anger. These feelings can result in a search for ways to protect oneself in a family that is unfeeling, hostile, and punitive.

...The positively nurtured and protected child, especially those in more affluent circumstances, is less likely to experience violent discipline and also less likely to model it when it is experienced. Such a child also is more likely to find satisfaction in interacting with similarly nonaggressive others. Poverty level parents who seek to address the growing anger and aggressiveness of their child are likely to use severe discipline, often the only discipline strategy they know. This, however, only serves to confirm their children’s negative view of their family, the world, and themselves. Aggressive behavior is perceived as affording protection and a way to exert control over others’ disliked and threatening behavior. Consequently, it becomes an important feature of the child’s interactions with others...

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