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Definition: Any instance where one individual engages in any behavior that may injure another can be considered aggression or aggressive behavior.  This area is comprised of a range of aggressive behaviors from the mild to the seriously dangerous. In all cases treatment of aggressive or potentially aggressive individuals presents risks of injury to both the person managing the aggression as well as the aggressive individual.

Training in strategies to prevent as well as safely manage aggressive behavior is strongly recommended.

Any training program in the prevention and management of aggressive behavior implemented by behavior analysts should operate from a functional analysis of behavior perspective rather than a psychodynamic perspective.

General Practice Guidelines:

Preventative measures (environmental and structural changes) based upon a functional analysis of the behavior should be made to decrease the likelihood that problem behavior will occur.

These should include:

A) A schedule of regular predictable access to the reinforcer maintaining problem behavior

B) Structured activities that clearly specify the duration and or contingency(s) to access reinforcement

C) Explicit teaching procedures designed to teach the person to access the reinforcer maintaining problem behavior,  using behavior of similar or easier topography. This behavior should result in faster access to similar or better quality access to reinforcement than the aggressive behavior provides.

See the Behaviorpedia Checklist for evaluating   Behavior plans

Add Examples of well written behavior plans



Additional Considerations:


Eileen M Roscoe, Arianne E Kindle, Sacha T Pence
J Appl Behav Anal. 2010 Winter; 43(4): 723–727. doi: 10.1901/jaba.2010.43-723
David E Kuhn, Samantha L Hardesty, Nicole M Sweeney
J Appl Behav Anal. 2009 Summer; 42(2): 355–360. doi: 10.1901/jaba.2009.42-355
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