Aggression may be defined as harmful behavior which violates social conventions and which may include deliberate intent to harm or injure another person or object (Bandura, 1973, cited in Suris et al., 2004; Berkowitz, 1993, cited in Suris et al., 2004). In many cases it escalates into violence.
Aggression has also been viewed as a heterogeneous concept encompassing a wide variety of behaviours (Conner, 2004). Researchers have attempted to create more homogenous categories in this behavioural domain by identifying subtypes of aggression based on statistical techniques such as factor analysis. Two common subtypes supported by extensive research are overt and covert aggression (Conner, 2004). As the name suggests, overt aggression involves outward or open confrontational acts of aggression, such as physical fighting, verbal threats and bullying. On the other hand, covert aggression is more hidden and surreptitious; examples include stealing, truancy and arson.
Conner, D. F., & Barkley, R. A. (2004). Aggression and antisocial behavior in children and adolescents: Research and treatment.New York: TheGuilford Press.
Suris, A., Lind, L., Emmett, G., Borman, P. D., Kashner, M., & Barratt, E.S. (2004). Measures of aggressive behavior: Overview of clinical and research instruments. Aggression and Violent Behaviour, 9, 165-227.
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