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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98512 Find in a Library
Title: Behavior Modification Approaches to the Aggressive Adolescent (From Aggressive Adolescent, P 268-198, 1984, Charles R Keith, ed. - See NCJ-98503)
Author(s): W H Varley
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: Free Press
New York, NY 10020
Sale Source: Free Press
Promotion Manager
Scholarly and Reference Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A review of three behavioral approaches for aggressive adolescents -- operant conditioning, social learning theory, and cognitive-behavioral theories -- accompanies suggestions for implementing these approaches in residential and community settings.
Abstract: Based on empirically derived principles of learning theory, behavior modification requires the careful identification of the problem behaviors and their results, and the setting of goals based on the client's ability to perform the desired behaviors. According to behavioral theory, aggression is a learned response that is maintained by such consequences as attention, recognition, relief from excessive stimulation, and the acquisition of concrete rewards. Treatment requires the systematic use of techniques for requires the systematic use of techniques for accelerating and decelerating behavior as well as improving interaction skills. Both positive and negative reinforcements are used; however, punishment is not used alone. Instead, withdrawal of positive reinforcement through the time-out procedure can be used effectively in conjunction with positive reinforcement procedures. Time-out is complicated in practice, but is a mild punishment that does not bring about undesirable psychological effects. Extinction involves ignoring annoying behaviors. It has limited usefulness with aggressive adolescents because of the dangers of ignoring early reaction signs. Self-control approaches to behavior modification teach clients to identify and manipulate their own controlling variables. The consensus of the literature is that a combination of behavioral approaches is needed to treat the aggressive teenager. These procedures are most useful in a residential setting where maximal control exists over the environment. However, data are equivocal regarding generalization and duration of treatment effects, suggesting that the usefulness of behavioral approaches with aggressive adolescents lies in institutional control. Attention is needed on how to increase the chances of generalization for specific cases. One hundred references are listed.
Index Term(s): Aggression; Behavior modification; Effects of juvenile imprisonment; Violent juvenile offenders
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