Social Aggression

Social Aggression is a range of behaviors that is related to bullying but which are different in type and cause.  Like bullying, socially aggressive behavior contributes to physical or emotional harm to targets.  Individuals who are social aggressive may be irritable, impulsive, angry and even violent.

Like bullying, aggressive behavior is intentional  and done to inflict harm or pain, violates the norms of society, and contributes to the breakdown in an interpersonal  relationship or a group.  Social aggression need not occur persistently over time like bullying does and may not be directed at a single individual.  Occasional aggressive outbursts of anger are not uncommon.  What differentiates socially aggressive behavior is the frequency, intensity, duration and pattern of anger, aggression or violence.  Socially aggressive individuals may be unable to engage in self-control, lack understanding of how their behaviors affect others, or not realize that their behaviors are breaking social norms.

Bullying is attributable mostly to a need to control, dominate and hold power over another.  On the other hand social aggression may be attributable to the emotional problems and mental health status of an individual.

On occasion, this aggressive behavior may be directed toward self and take the form of self-injurious behaviors.    Personal factors that may contribute to the development of socially aggressive behavior include:  mental health challenges, dysfunctional relationships with others, family dynamics, social climate of home, school or work, societal and economic factors, personality characteristics, health and disability conditions, psychiatric issues and medications, life experiences and frustrations, lack of empathy and tolerance for others, and low level of resilience and adaptive ability.

The most common treatments for socially aggressive behaviors include, counseling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, life skills development, social skills training, and modifications in social climate.  In some cases, marital and family therapy, alcohol and drug treatments, among others might also be indicated as contributing factors.

Availability for Keynote and Breakout Sessions and Potential Topics:  The topics that I would be able to present for a Keynote Presentation would include among others:  University Professors Bullied by Students;  Drama Therapy in Middle School to Encourage Bystander Reporting of LGBTQ Bullying;  Content Evaluation and Analysis of School Bullying Polices:  Implications for Bullying Policy Development; and Prevention and Intervention of Bullying with Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  I could also conduct a general presentation on the topic of current issues, topics and research in bullying prevention and intervention.  In addition, if I knew that the membership of the audience wanted to hear more about a specific related to bullying I most probably present on that topic for the Keynote or Breakout session(s).

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