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Did Little Girl Learn Aggression from her Brother?

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From the U.S.: Some information one may need to fully assess this question is the girl in question was about 10-11 years old and the boy was about 11-12 years old. Basically the boy sibling demonstrated aggressive behavior in the household from hitting to throwing objects and the girl witnessed it. I learned in psychology that one can learn aggressive behaviors from an adult when young. I was wondering if the girl, now about 12 years old, is now showing aggressive behaviors did she learn it from her sibling? Can she be fully conscious that their actions are wrong, knowing she understands right from wrong fully, and be able to change her behavior? Or can one FULLY attribute her behavior to the behavior of the sibling and the way she was conditioned to aggression or does the she hold some accountability of their actions, based off that she understands right from wrong and does behave well in other settings?

Did Little Girl Learn Aggression from her Brother?

Answered by on -

A.

When I read this, my first thought was to wonder why the boy was aggressive. Did he learn it from an adult? Was he protecting himself in some way? Does he have a problem with anger generally? The answers to such questions are important if a therapist is to understand what is going on with the little girl.

Yes, it is possible that she learned that the best defense is a good offense. But it’s also possible that the same things that were troubling her brother are troubling her.

Absolutely, children of this age can and do change behavior if the adults both understand the issues and provide some good role modeling and consistent supportive correction. Since this behavior is true of more than one sibling, I do suggest that the best thing to do is to see a family counselor who can help the parents understand what they need to do at home to help both children.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

Did Little Girl Learn Aggression from her Brother?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). Did Little Girl Learn Aggression from her Brother?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/03/21/did-little-girl-learn-aggression-from-her-brother/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 18 Mar 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 18 Mar 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.