Introduction to Prevention, Control and Management of Aggression:
The Frustration – Aggression hypothesis formulated by Miller Dollard and associates hailed that aggression accumulates in an individual as a result of his frustrating experiences and out bursts of a particular point where it becomes severe. In order to avoid aggressive out bursts accumulation of frustrating experience should be discouraged.
This can be done by allowing the individual to express his tension and pent up emotions in between. If the anger, hostility and tension etc. are not released and suppressed aggressive act and violence becomes unmanageable.
That is why, Freud has recommended catharsis or out let of pent up emotions as the most suitable way of releasing tension. In psychotherapy this principle of catharsis is very much used even now a day. It is every body’s experience that the principles of catharsis minimizes aggressive experience. Everyone in day to day life must have found that when mild anger and feelings of anguish are expressed one feels relieved, otherwise there is anxiety.
ii. Talking Therapy:
When one feels hostility or annoyance against someone, if he tells this to some one of confidence like a good friend, a spouse, son or daughter or any well wisher his aggression is released without harming the enemy or target of aggression.
By talking out ones suppressed and repressed urges the expression of aggression can be managed aggressiveness will be expressed without doing otherwise continuous but unexpressed aggressive anxiety and mental illness. When others experiences of the victim the victim gets relaxed.
iii. Writing Therapy:
When a less dominant person is insulted = dominant person, the less powerful person will aggression towards the aggressor. Take the examples wife in Indian society. If the husband maltreats the wife or frustrates her she cannot express her aggression towards her- society does not appreciate it.
In such a situation the wife can write down her aggressive feelings towards her husband in can be released and give her peace of mind. Otherwise this may lead to depression, anxiety and neurosis. Management and control of aggressive tendencies can thus be possible through writing therapy.
Daily diary writing is a kind of writing therapy. That is why o said diary writing is maintained by mentally ill persons. By this technique hostile feeling can be relieved without target of aggression.
Aggression of children can be relieved through displacement or transfer of aggression to some objects like toy, doll or any non living object. So children are given toys and big dolls to express their aggression on these objects, instead of expressing, suppressing and repressing it.
Various observations and experimental studies do indicate that when children are given the chance to express their anger and aggression in course of their growth, they become less hostile afterwards.
Hence, in order to control one’s aggression which is dangerous for the society, one has to learn to express the pent up emotions in small degrees as and when the occasion so demands. Non aggression can be possible through displacement of anger.
Fishback conducted an experiment on some college student who was subjected to derogatory remarks and insults. Among them one group was allowed to express his pent up emotions through T.A.T cards and the second group through writing stories on some T.A.T. cards.
These subjects showed less hostility and aggression compared to the third group which was administered with an aptitude test and hence did not get the chance to release his aggressive feeling. Similar evidences are found in many other studies which indicate that catharsis can be very useful in reducing and controlling the feelings of hostility and control.
vi. Judicious Early Childhood Training:
Aggressive behaviour can be prevented to some extent by judicious early childhood training, proper parental care, and adequate parenting style. By trying to fulfill the basic needs of the child, the child can be exposed to less frustration inducing situations.
The child should not be harashed on allowed to cry for a continuous period. He should be given the training from the early child to face frustration in an adoptive instead of mal adoptive manner. His training should be flexible rather than rigid.
vii. Good Parental Model:
The child should be exposed to good and normal models. Parents should try their best not to quarrel in the presence of a child. They should try to be beet models for the child to imitate. They should do what they preach. There should not be any gaff between preaching and actual practice.
viii. Training to Tolerate Frustration:
Instead of fulfilling all the required and unnecessary wishes of the child — under certain cases, he should be trained to tolerate frustration. Frustration tolerance can be generated in the child by not fulfilling what-ever he wishes. The genuine needs should be no doubt fulfilled.
But certain wishes which are undesirable should not be fulfilled and he should be trained gradually to tolerate the frustration of certain needs. Because of the difference in frustration tolerance capacity people differ in their aggressive reactions. In this case imitation of models tolerating frustration also helps a lot in the management and control of aggression.
Control of Television, Video Shows and Films showing Aggressive Models:
By controlling the child’s viewing of aggressive and violent models in T.V., Pictures and video a lot of aggressive behaviour can be controlled. This will be discussed in detail separate in a subsequent chapter.
i. Non Reinforcive Action:
If aggressive behaviour is encouraged it is reinforced. But through non reinforcive action arousal of anger and hostility can be reduced. If the too much aggressive behaviour of the child is discouraged through social learning and socialization process, the child will learn to reduce his hostile actions. If aggressive behaviour is mildly penalized it will be non reinforcive.
ii. Loss of Love:
When the child is involved in various hostile and violent activities he should be told by his parents, particularly the mother that she would not love him or take care of him if he is engaged in hostile activities. The child who never wants to loose the love of his mother would definitely try to do so. This I have experimented with my grand son Anuraag.
iii. Observation of Non Aggressive Models:
Aggression can be reduced effectively in highly aggressive boys by allowing them to observe models who behave in a restrained and non-aggressive manner in the face of provocation. This can be effectively done by the television and movie industries. Nonviolent movies and serials should be produced more and more and telecast in the television.
During the formative period of one’s personality imitation is maximum, and very quick. It is said by social psychologists that if the aggressive behaviour of children go unchecked or unrestricted in the early formative years, they are more probable to be reinforced and continue in his adult life which is dangerous for the society and nation.
iv. Teaching of Discipline and Morality:
By training the child to be, disciplined and develop positive values and morality a lot of aggressive behaviour can be controlled. Parents and teachers have to play an active role in this regard. A disciplined and socialized individual with moral values will not try to show frequent violence which is harmful for the family and the society.
v. Flexibility in Punishment during Childhood and No Rigid Training:
The life history of several convicts and criminals in jails has shown that those who have been jailed for their aggressive acts most of them were severely punished during childhood and punished repeatedly. That is why there is a saying that a woman who has been severely punished by his mother in law she also punishes her daughter in law severely when she becomes a mother in law.
vi. Control of Parental Aggression:
It is very often said that angry parents have angry children. So parents must try to control their frequent anger, irritation and hostility. Children should be taught that there are other non aggressive or mildly aggressive reactions to frustration which can be used while reacting to a frustrating situation. Parents must try to be an ideal model for their children.
Finally every parent must try to develop a socially acceptable personality of their children so that their aggressiveness can be controlled to a remarkable degree for ensuring peace and happiness in the society. Extreme form of aggression becomes pathological.
It undoubtedly ruins the personality of the individual. When aggression becomes a trait in the personality of such people, it becomes a sort of character disorder and stands on the way of normal and integrated personality development.
Therefore it is essential that aggressive behaviour should be prevented from early childhood by basically preventing exposure to frustration. It should also be controlled and managed for the development of normal personality and society friendly personality.
Though nonaggression is helpful for a healthy and happy society, too much of non aggression is not desirable. Aggression to some degree is essential for self protection and security, for managing one’s self in the society, for release of tension and hostility.
Aggression therefore, should be expressed in a limited degree as and when required. Aggression can be turned to non aggression through various defence mechanisms like sublimation, rationalization, projection and socially accepted behaviour like sports, mountaineering, athletics and other acts of courage and adventure.