11. Physically Aggressive Behaviors

Category 11 out of 12

Theoretical Construct: Theories in Compliance and Aggression

Associated Category/Categories: Oppositional Behaviors


  • Pulling, pushing, grabbing.
  • Kicking, biting, scratching, punching.
  • Spitting, throwing things, breaking objects.
  • Self-abuse / mutilation.

Purpose of the Behavior

  • Demonstrates presence of physiological, security or belongingness need that needs to be fulfilled.
  • Demonstrates blocked goal attainment, which leads to negative emotions of anger / discontentment.
  • Demonstrates a response to an impediment.
  • Demonstrates direct defiance to commands from health care providers and care team.
  • Demonstrates a potential change in milieu homeostasis.
  • Instrumental Aggression:
    • Demonstrates process of systematic thinking (benefits / rewards)
    • Demonstrates reward-consequence paradigm.
  • Hostile Aggression:
    • Demonstrates an emotional response to provocation / negative feelings.
    • Demonstrates potential intrinsic perturbations which lead to negative feelings.
    • Demonstrates potential extrinsic blocked goal attainment, which leads to frustration and aggression.

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