9. Vocal Behaviors

Category 9 out of 12

Theoretical Construct: Theories in Regulation of Emotion

Associated Category/Categories: Emotional Behaviors, Fretful / Trepidated Behaviors


  • Argumentative, explosive, quarrelsome.
  • Talking loud / fast, acting manic-like.
  • Whimpering, moaning, making strange noises.
  • Yelling, screaming.
  • Persistent calling out for staff / family members.
  • Rattling bed rails, banging table tops.

Purpose of the Behavior

  • Demonstrates cognitive impairment affecting emotional vulnerability and regulation.
    • Emotional vulnerability causes:
      • Increased sensitivity to emotional stimuli.
      • Intensified reactions.
      • Prolonged / delayed return to baseline.
  • Demonstrates dysregulation in emotions of anger with discontentment and emotions of joy.
  • Demonstrates increased ability to be overwhelmed by all stimuli.
  • Potential demonstration of Catastrophic reactions or Dysphoric episodes.
    • Catastrophic reactions (CR): Inability to cope with serious defect in physical / cognitive function. Results in short-lasting, emotional outbursts that are inadequate, disordered and/or inconsistent. Considered a DEFENSE behavior.
    • Dysphoric episodes (DE): Another form of CR that presents as destructive actions towards oneself / others / objects.  Appears as profound irritability, anger, discontentment, motor agitation, racing thoughts and loud speech. Considered an ATTACK behavior.
  • Purpose of aggressive-type behaviors (argumentative, explosive, etc.):
    • Stems from emotions of anger and discontentment.
    • Prevents further exposure to “perceived” noxious stimuli.
    • Continued exposure leads to “attack” mode.
  • Purpose of effusive-type behaviors (talking loud / fast, acting manic-like, etc.):
    • Stems from emotions of happiness and joy.

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