- What makes children behave aggressively? The inner logic of Dutch children in special education
- European Journal of Special Needs Education
- Volume | Issue number
- 24 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
The ambiguous results of existing intervention programmes show the need for new ways in research on aggression among children. The present study focuses on the children's own perspective on their aggressive behaviour. Based on a constructivist approach, the inner logic of narratives about peer conflicts of 64 children in Dutch special education was analysed. Contrary to the much used dichotomy of reactive and proactive aggression, we found a more differentiated picture. Children use aggression: to get understanding for their situation; to escape from the conflict situation; because of inner conflicts; to get revenge; and for the fun of bullying. The study makes clear that, from the perspective of the children, aggressive behaviour is closely related to the peer culture at school. Moreover, some children need individual treatment and support, because of specific concerns related to self-regulation that make them behave aggressively.
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