The development of aggression must also be viewed in an ecological context. According to researchers (Beyers, Bates, Pettit, & Dodge, 2003; Dodge et al., 2006), the complex variables operating in aggressive behavior involve the
child (personality, cognitive level, social skills)
family (parenting, interaction)
school (attitudes on handling aggressive behavior)
peer group (modeling, norms, acceptance/rejection)
community (socioeconomic stressors, attitudes about what constitutes aggressive
behavior, availability of support systems).
The first experience is inefective parenting (influenced by such variables as the way the parents were parented, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, neighborhood, and education); the second is behavioral conduct disorders that lead to academic failure and peer rejection, which in turn lead to increased risk of involvement in a deviant peer group; and the third, occurring in early adolescence, is chronic delinquent behavior.
antisocial behavior appears to be a developmental trait that begins early in life (observable by age 4 to 5) and often continues into adolescence and adulthood (Krahe, 2013). The socialization for aggression is bidirectional and interactional in several ecological contexts; it includes poor parenting skills, which afect child behavior, and child behavior, which afects not only parenting but school performance and peer relationships as well.
The following socialization mediators have been identified as contributing to risky developmental outcomes regarding children’s antisocial behavior (Dishion & Patterson, 2006: Dodge, Pettit, & Bates, 1994):
harsh parental discipline
lack of maternal warmth
exposure to aggressive adult models
maternal aggressive values
family life stressors
mother’s lack of social support
peer group instability
lack of cognitive stimulation.