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Indicators of Aggressive Behaviour

NCJ Number
David McDonald; Melanie Brown
Date Published
39 pages
This Australian study examined current evidence related to the links between aggressive and self-harmful behavior and a range of health, social, and legal factors.
The expert working group that examined the evidence identified a number of risk factors for aggressive and self-destructive behavior, as well as those areas amenable to targeted policy response to reduce their incidence. The key risk factors include having a history of violent behavior; being male; being a young adult; having experienced difficulties in childhood, including inadequate parenting, troubled relationships within the family, and low levels of school achievement; having problems of psychotropic substance abuse, especially problematic alcohol use; having severe mental illness, the symptoms of which are not being adequately identified or controlled through therapeutic regimes; and being in situations conducive to self-directed or interpersonal violence, including having access to firearms. These risk factors interact and are cumulative. Since aggressive and self-destructive behavior is widespread throughout Australian society, effective policy responses must involve a variety of governmental and nongovernmental agencies and portfolios. A number of policy responses, based on the central conclusions of this examination of the evidence, are presented in terms of their application to the population generally, individuals specifically, and further research requirements. A 70-item bibliography