Science in Christian Perspective
Aggression: Shall I Let It Out or Control It?
Department of Educational Foundations and Inquiry
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
From: JASA 33 (June 1981): 87-93.
The view called ventilationism, or the idea that it is unhealthy to bottle up aggressive feelings and healthy to express or ventilate them is examined. There is little empirical support for the ventilationist position, although there is some support for the position that display of aggression itself seems to be rewarding, and thus expression of aggression encourages higher levels of aggression in the future. In addition, other disadvantages of the ventilationist position are discussed, such as the reality that openly expressing aggressions can have negative present and future consequences. A number of examples are given as to how frustrating situations can be dealt with in ways other than expressing open aggression.
One frequently encounters the belief that "if something enable us to be without many of the aches and pains, both
is bothering you, 'let it out,' for you have to get it out of physical and psychosomatic, that commonly impede hap
your system sometime." Some writers even stress the idea that we should not control aggressive feelings, but openly express our aggression (Janov, 1970, 1973; Casriel, 1972). The reasoning for this advice is that bottling up aggressive feelings is harmful and can cause a variety of problems, both physical and mental.
This view is called "ventilationism" because it holds that in general it is unhealthy to "bottle up" aggressive feelings
and healthy to ventilate them. Some writers go beyond this and argue that we should overcome our inhibitions, and
freely show all (or almost all) of our emotions. This would, the theory maintains, eliminate disturbing tensions and enable us to be without many of the aches and pains, both physical and psychosomatic, that commonly impede happiness and mental adjustment. Is this view psychologically sound?
The Ventilationist Position
Many of the ventilationists are very concerned with the present, stressing "now is all that exists, the past is over and the future is not yet." The future though becomes the present for only a fleeting moment, but remains the past forever. However, much of what we are depends upon the past, and much of how we view the future affects what we are now. The past and future are extremely important.
Although there is not much we can do about the past except learn from it, there is much we can do about the future. By and large, we make the future. Thus, before ventilating any emotion, we should ask ourselves: "What consequences will this act have on the future-will it help or hurt me?" This does not mean we live in or become preoccupied with the future, but only that we reason on the consequences of our behavior, realizing that our present behavior profoundly affects our own future as well as the future of others. Much behavior that we later regret, such as stealing, lying, fornication, dishonesty, and selfishness, is committed because of an over-concern with the present and a disregard for the future. One clearly cognizant of the future rarely involves himself in an act which will likely have clear negative future consequences. This concern is especially important when considering the effects of acting out aggression. Acting out one's feelings may produce one set of consequences for the immediate present, but a very different set in the future.
There are a variety of ways to "eliminate" aggression. Some are clearly healthy, others are not. For example some writers encourage fantasizing physical aggression such as "imagine biting the person you dislike, imagine hitting or hurting him" or even simply "imagine breaking up his furniture." A vivid "thinking of hostility", according to the theory, reduces hostility. Other writers encourage persons to openly take out their frustrations, only not against people but things, reducing aggression by hitting, pushing or damaging non-living objects. If Mr. Jones is mad at his wife, he should smash her good salad bowl instead of smashing his wife.Research on Aggression
According to (Berkowitz, 1973: 28), "Experimental psychologists, by and large, are skeptical of the energy theory that underlies the ventilation therapies. More and more investigators of animal and human motivation-such as by R. W. Hinde, R. C. Bolles and C. N. Cofer-bt.;iieve that traditional energy notions fail to hold up under close scrutiny and, as a matter of fact, that they often lead to incorrect predictions."
There are a number of causes for the different levels of aggression normally found in children, including brain anomalies, disease, diet, differences caused by inheritance, hormone levels, the period of fife, and other similar factors. This paper concerns itself primarily with aggression that is learned, and the comments apply primarily to those individuals who have an average amount of aggression, i.e., are not brain-damaged, etc.
Research in aggression includes studies done by researchers using bo-bo dolls (life-size, plastic, air-filled dolls). The children used in the experiments could, at a given time during the experiments, hit, punch, or push the toy doll. Children that were rewarded in various ways for punching the bo-bo doll were found to be much more aggressive when they later competed against their peers (Bandura, et al., 1961).
If an angry person acts aggressively "to let off steam" and then feels better, he is being rewarded for his aggressive behavior and is more likely, according to the study above, to behave aggressively in the future. In addition, in the future less provocation will trigger that aggression. In many cases the aggressor will feel better only because he/she has used up the energy that his body mobilized to overcome the situation that caused him to become aggressive. If the aggression eliminates this energy, he/she will feel tired and not as tense. Reducing energy must always reduce tension because the person no longer has the energy to maintain tension. Tension requires a large amount of energy and for the simple reason that the person is less tense, he/she feels better. But after he/she uses up energy, the situation that caused the original aggression is still there, unless energy has been directed into specific activities that solve the cause of the aggression. This is not ventilationism, but simply an energetic problem attack. Even here too much energy may impede performance.
There are other problems. For example, parents who encourage their children to "go ahead and beat the sofa until
you feel better" are teaching the children a specific way to
react to stress. This behavior pattern will most likely continue to be used outside the home. In most cases this is an
inappropriate reaction and invariably causes many more
problems than an immediate reduction of energy may
solve. Children thus learn to behave aggressively; they learn
that this is an appropriate way to respond and behave when
confronted with a situation that they perceive requires aggression (Mednick, et al., 1975:
48, 442, 345-346, 457-463, 503).
open aggression and violence are so common that Corning (1975: 310) brought out that, " ... human societies in which violence is totally absent are the exception." Yet it should be stressed that there are some human societies which have almost a total absence of harmful violence, demonstrating that this ideal state of affairs is possible. Even though these societies tend to be small and are few and far between (e.g.; the Hopi, the Arunta and the Eskimos) the fact that they exist indicates that it is possible for all societies to become non-aggressive in time.
As with all other human behavior, aggressive behavior falls on a continuum. All humans, to some degree, are aggressive. Such behavior as driving 60 instead of the speed limit 55 is, to some degree, an expression of aggression. It is mainly high levels of aggression, levels likely to be physically destructive, or at least destructive of quality interpersonal relations, that we are concerned with here.The Physiological Mechanisms of Aggression
When a person perceives a situation as frustrating, this causes, among other changes, an increase in the release of adrenalin from the medula of the adrenal glands into the blood stream. Adrenalin mimics the action of the sympathetic nervous system and causes the same general effects as does sympathetic nerve impulses: increases the heart beat rate, and causes glycogen in the liver to be converted into sugar and released into the bloodstream. This process raises the blood sugar level. The adrenalin also stimulates the thyroid gland that operates to increase the general oxidation level in the body. All of these changes are for the purpose of giving the person a high level of extra energy. This energy is designed to be utilized to solve whatever problem elicited the emotional reaction in the first place. Unfortunately, for the aroused person some situations that elicit the above response cannot be solved by extra energy; thus the body is ready to act but either cannot act or there is no need to act. Herein lies the problem.
The enormous amount of energy this process produces is illustrated from a number of cases on record, where in emergency situations an unbelievable amount of strength was displayed. A typical case is that of a husband working underneath his car when the jack slips, causing him to be pinned under the car; his wife is able to pick up the back end of the car and push in something solid to hold the car up so that her husband can be pulled out from underneath the car. Except in this specific situation, few women could probably achieve a feat requiring this much strength, even if offered $10,000. This illustration helps us to understand the amount of energy available during stress that must be dissipated. If we don't have a car to lift up, the energy must be dissipated in some other way.
Frustrating situations often do not require much extra
energy, but instead require time, patience, and skill. Studying hard for a test and then doing poorly may elicit aggression, which, if turned inward, may cause depression. After
the test is completed, in most cases there is little the student
can do, at least for which an extra amount of energy would
be helpful. Thus the increased energy level built up by the
adrenalin gland is, in this case, useless or often harmful.
Importantly, though, individuals react differently to each
situation. Whether or not the medula of the adrenalin
glands produces an extra supply of adrenalin depends primarily upon the person's
of the situation, not
the situation itself. This is a crucial point. One learns
his culture, his family, his peers, and others, to see a situation in a way that elicits an aggressive response. Likewise
one can learn to react rationally to almost all normally occuring experiences.
The rapid dispersion of oxygen and food to the tissues to increase their ability to act enables the body to take care of situations it normally would be unable to; this is a necessary adjustment mechanism, helping us solve various problems. Unfortunately, the same mechanism can also impede our adjustment, especially in modern society. This excess energy causes a strong feeling of discomfort in the person; most of us do not feel comfortable when we are nervous, anxious, or in any way emotionally upset. If one is able to dissipate this energy, the reducing of the energy level reduces the nervousness, anxiety, etc., and causes one to feel better. Thus, as noted above, the very act of eliminating this excess energy can be rewarding, causing a more desirable state of affairs within the person. Tragically, though, this desirable state of affairs (feeling better) may cause the person to react aggressively more often in the future, causing behavior that is undesirable both because of its eventual effect on the long term health of the person (high blood pressure, heart problems, etc.) and often undesirable short term consequences (embarrassment, loss of respect, etc.)
Watching aggression by others will often reduce the inhibitions of the observer and increase his level of aggression. For example, Berkowitz (1973:29) concluded that: "I have spent more than a decade doing careful laboratory research, which consistently has shown that a person who watches violence is much more apt to become aggressive himself, whether he is angry at the time or not. He is not purged of angry impulses." Thus, the ventilationist theory, at least in these studies, has been experimentally shown not to work. Much of this research has shown that television can have a pernicious effect on the viewer, increasing the level of aggression in both children and adults. Berkowitz (1973:29) also concluded that "this heightened stimulation to violence occurs whether the individual passively observes the aggressive stimuli or actively constructs the stimuli in his thoughts and fantasies." (See also Liebert (1973) and Bandura (1961).)
It is important to distinguish between verbal aggression and the need to talk about one's feelings. Ideally, one should have someone he can freely communicate with, honestly talking about his angers, frustrations, feelings, hopes,
Jerry Bergman is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education (Department of Educational Foundations and Inquiry) at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, where he has been since 1973. Before that, he taught Psychology and Sociology at Oakland Community College in Michigan. He has also worked in research for the court system in Oakland County Michigan. His Ph.D. is in Evaluation and Research from Wayne State University. Dr. Bergman has published over 160 articles in both general and professional journals in the areas of sociology, psychology, education and biology. He has written fourteen books and professional monographs. One of his recent monographs was published by Phi Delta Kappa, and is on the creationlevolution controversy in the schools.
dreams, disappointments and, in short, all the feelings that characterize normal humans. But intelligently discussing disappointments and displaying physical aggression are two different things. Describing one's emotions ("Boy, this really makes me feel angry!") and becoming openly aggressive, banging things around the room, even if one describes his emotions at the same time, are two different situations.
The problem of dealing with anger is clearly not new. The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (the original was written during 1st Century of the Christian Era) used either the word "anger," "angered," "angrily" or "angry" 283 times. This is evidence for the belief that anger has been a common experience in human history. But the ability to control one's anger is another matter. Importantly, though, it is not so much the fact that one is angry that should be of concern, but how one reacts to this anger.Dealing with Aggression
Much of the problem with anger is trying to avoid solving the problem causing the anger. If something upsets a person, it is best to react appropriately to the anger. If a person upsets you, reason with him. In short, try to solve the problem which causes the anger. If nothing else, for the time being one can walk around the block. This both reduces the excess energy and gives one time to think more objectively about the situation. But the problem should be solved, or at least one should endeavor to begin to solve the problem. At times, the situation simply has to be accepted if it cannot be changed or it is very difficult to change. If this is the case, a person should realize that with effort he can accept almost any situation; once accepted, the situation will no longer upset him.
This, in brief, is the crux of the whole problem. One must find out specifically what causes him to be aggressive, and then work on solving the problem as soon as possible. But I I sinning," throwing chairs, yelling, hitting people, or " losing your cool," does not help to solve the problem-it only compounds it.
In social conversation, for example, Mr. Jones tends to get extremely upset when Mrs. Jones corrects him, especially on irrelevant details. At one gathering with friends, Mrs. Jones interrupted with, "Dear, it was not three weeks ago, it was almost four weeks ago." In solving the problem, Mr. Jones has the following alternatives:
1. Keep his feelings inside and become angry, while controlling his anger as much as possible. This is unsatisfactory in that he will probably continue to become angry and it will be harder and harder to control his anger each time his wife contradicts him. As discussed below, this solution may have long term consequences for one's health.
2. Become extremely upset, giving vent to his anger, telling Mrs. Jones, "How many weeks ago is an irrelevant detail and does not matter." He may add that she is grossly rude in interrupting him and he has no desire to finish te& ing about the incident as his train of thought is interrupted and he is now upset. This is also inappropriate. Aside from more than likely causing his wife to become angry, he will probably alienate both him and his wife from their friends~ so that they will be less likely to want to socialize with them in the future. Further, an episode similar to the one above is embarrassing and probably will not solve the problem, but only create more problems.
Bottled up anger clearly does contribute to such things as ulcers, headaches, colitis, arthritis, heart problems', high blood pressure, and a number of psychosomatic complaints.
3. Mr. Jones could accept the correction at the time and later, preferably as soon as possible that day, try to explain to his wife how he feels. He could, for example, say, "Honey, you have a much better memory than I do. I wish I could remember minor details as well as you can. I admire your excellent memory, but I want to convey to you how I feel when you correct me. You no doubt are usually correct in your facts, but it is very embarrassing for me when you correct me. I tend to lose my train of thought, and this makes it hard for me to finish what I am saying. Further, when I am shown to be wrong in some detail, my credibility suffers considerably. The audience realizes that if I am wrong in this fact I could be wrong in many others, and they may tend to not take too seriously anything I say. Further I feel this is a minor detail and it really doesn't matter if it was three or four weeks ago. What matters is the moral of the story I'm telling."
Mr. Jones could also try to elicit the aid of his wife in telling a story. Realizing he has a difficult time remembering dates, he could ask his wife, "I cannot remember if it was three or four weeks ago-Honey, do you remember?" or "Maybe you could help me out, was it three or four weeks ago?" Of course the explanation probably would not be as blunt of succinct as the above, but still similar. To maintain a marriage, a husband must be extremely concerned about the feelings of his wife and a wife of her husband's feelings. Yet both must be honest and communicate their feelings, even if they cause more temporary conflict.
It is best to solve the problem which causes anger as soon as possible. It is not healthy to store anger for long periods of time (but not healthy to act out aggressively either). Bottled up anger clearly does contribute to such things as ulcers, headaches, colitus, arthritis, heart problems, high blood pressure, and a number of psychosomatic complaints (Kolb, 1977). But it does not help to indiscriminantly lash out at everything in sight. The solution is to solve whatever causes the aggression, as illustrated in the case above. Sometimes it may be difficult to pinpoint specifically what causes one to be angry-sometimes one has to look quite hard. But there is always a reason. Because it is not apparent does not mean a reason does not exist, but means that one has to do more looking. Certainly friends or loved ones can help in finding the source. This is not to say this will work in all cases. There are some specific conditions that are best treated under appropriate guidance by ventilation techniques. But these are quite uncommon and should be worked with only under the supervision of a competent professional. Even in most of these cases it is not necessary to act out one's hostility-but only to work with one who is highly accepting and able to help one control and accept his hostility. Acceptance of the person expressing aggression is the first step in the process of change. Some people who are overly inhibited can "loosen up" without being indiscriminantly aggressive in other settings. But, unfortunately, it is difficult to keep aggression within its proper bounds. Violence has a way of breeding more violence. In the long run, interpersonal problems can be solved only with reasoning, echoing the ancient advice of the writer Isaiah who said, "Come, let us reason together."
In the above illustration, we can see that if Mr. Jones lashed out at his wife by throwing her favorite salad bowl, it may help him feel better momentarily (but more than likely may not even help him momentarily), but it probably will have long term adverse effects. Mrs. Jones will probably feel upset about losing her good bowl, and react to Mr. Jones in various undesirable ways, i.e., verbally becoming aggressive towards him or even smashing his favorite model car. This act of aggression will most likely cause Mr. Jones' initial aggression to increase, although at this point primarily as a reaction to Mrs. Jones' aggression. Even if Mrs. Jones does not become aggressive herself, the incident will still more than likely affect her and the relationship she has with her husband. At the very least she will have lost her favorite bowl. The long term effects could be much more disastrous. Incidents like this could build up in Mrs. Jones' mind until she no longer can tolerate her husband, even if she understands that he is aggressive because of a frustrating day at work, etc. Incidentally, behavior such as the above is often called "adult temper tantrums" by psychiatrists.
Other ventilationists recommend reducing the aggression by totally avoiding the source of aggression and concentrating on eliminating the excess energy. This method, called the "bio-energetic" approach, stresses that dammed up energy is best released through overt actions such as beating a bed with a tennis racket or making appropriate verbal statements such as, "I hate you, I hate you" over and over. The subject is encouraged to be more aggressive, to let go, and in essence, to "let it all out."
Investigators that concern themselves primarily with aggression find that, although the "let it all out" view is popular, there is almost always much more harm than benefit in this approach. Most psychotherapists do not recommend it. Most of Freud's writings were strongly critical of any attempts to help a person by releasing aggression. Most often this approach is recommended by uninformed, self-appointed "therapists."
This is not to say that there cannot be some benefit in this approach. Most often if the person is given the chance to see how foolish it is to beat the bed, bang the wall, or kick the tires on his car, this insight will help him look at his/her own behavior more objectively-and the person may be less likely in the future to resort to such tactics in solving problems. Often, though, ironically the person never does see the foolishness of his behavior. A few examples will suffice. A 22-year-old man was seeing a psychologist because of his temper. The incident which caused him to be referred to the doctor was that he could not start his car one day, so he got out of the car and smashed the windshield with his hand, and then took a hammer and smashed the hood. He had to be hospitalized because of the lacerations in his hand, it cost $140 to replace the windshield and $260.00 to replace the hood, and his car still would not start! The original problem still had to be taken care of, plus several new ones.
The next incident involves a 24-year-old auto mechanic. When things did not go right at his work, he would come home and take out his frustrations upon his wife, and this often physically. He was referred to a psychiatrist because of an incident in which he beat his wife so severely that she had to be hospitalized. The incident made the papers and there was much community talk. It was thus felt that he should begin to work on controlling his extreme temper (which he has had most of his life).
The above two experiences are useful in that they point out an important factor-violently eliminating one's aggression does not reduce it. Both of the above people "had tempers" and freely eliminated their aggression most of their lives, but yet were more aggressive when referred for help compared to when they were younger. Adult aggressiveness is often seen as nothing more than a temper tantrum a person never outgrew. Obviously, letting the child blow off steam forever does not help him outgrow the temper tantrum. Both the above people needed help to overcome their problem and functionally deal with their anger. One mother was told that she should let her child "let off steam" by kicking the furniture, the walls, the doors, or whatever else he wanted to. Thirty years later he is still kicking the furniture-and has added to his repertoire of things to kick his cat, wife, children, and anything else that gets in the way.
A dangerous result of ventilating one's aggression is that the person's perception of his own aggression actually causes him to become more aggressive. He sees himself becoming aggressive and this aggression stimulates him on to greater levels of aggressivity. If he feels better after the aggression, he is actually being rewarded for aggression-and he is more likely to exhibit aggression in the future. A number of research studies have found that this commonly occurs in children who were initially low in the amount of aggressive behavior they displayed. When encouraged to increase their overt aggression when they encountered frustrating experiences, or "drain their frustration"
A dangerous result of ventilating one's aggression is that the person's perception of his own aggression actually causes him to become more aggressive.
and eliminate it on the spot, most males in time became more and more aggressive. They became more aggressive not only in situations that are fairly frustrating, but also situations that do do normally cause a high degree of aggression. In other words, it now takes less to elicit their anger.
How do children become aggressive in the first place? A number of researchers (Appel, 1942; Sears, Maccoby and Levin, 1957 among others) find that aggression tends to spring either from too much or too little discipline in the home, jealousy of brothers and sisters, excessive parental standards or home tensions. The child rearing pattern that produces the most aggressive child is one in which the parents disapprove of aggression, and punish it with physical aggression of their own when it occurs, i.e. aggressive spanking, etc. This counter-attack on the part of the parent may work for the moment, but generally it ultimately generates more hostility in the child. The parent who uses a large amount of physical punishment tends to provide the child with a model of aggression that the child is likely to copy.
Highly aggressive children also tend to be produced in homes where the mother is very permissive in her reaction to the child's outbursts of aggression. When the parents let the child display his aggression, the aggression itself tends to be self-reinforcing. The least aggressive children, on the other hand, come from homes where aggression is clearly disapproved of and is stopped, but with techniques other than physical punishment. These techniques include reasoning with the child, removing privileges, requiring him to sit in the corner and think about his actions, or ignoring the child, while clearly letting him know that his behavior is not approved.
The main concern with controlling aggression is that uncontrolled aggression often puts one in more and more frustrating situations. For example, it is found that aggressive boys are much more likely to involve themselves in aggressive acts earlier when introduced to new friends, and as a result become involved in power struggles with other children. These invariably result in fighting, which puts the child in a precarious position relative to friends, school work, parents, the school and the teachers trying to deal with him or her. Thus the child will be confronted with more situations which are likely to provide aggression in the future.
Much aggression is "circular." The child is aggressive towards his/her parents or teacher, and they in turn retaliate, causing the child to be further angered and frustrated. This, in turn, causes more aggression, which causes the teacher or parent to become even more aggressive against the child. To reduce this circular effect, parents must realize that, by and large, children want adults to help them control their aggressive behavior. But they want it to be controlled in ways that do not cause them to increase their own aggression, i.e. by causing them to "become angry." Parents and teachers should be very firm with the child, specifying punishment that is reasonable and that can be carried out. If the child misbehaves, the parent must carry out the punishment. It is essential for the parent or teacher to threaten only those punishments that they can reasonably carry out (McCandless, 1967:143).Experimental Research on the Results of Aggression
That the main problem is learning to deal with aggression, and thus control the situation so the aggression is never aroused in the first place, has been demonstrated by several studies.
Studies of hypertension have isolated a number of personality factors which differentiate hypertensives from normal-tensives. The only consistent finding was in the way each person handled anger and aggression (Buss, 1966: 414). Further, Lipowski stated,
hypertensive patients have been described as unable to accept and express their hostile impulses for fear of losing approval and securities; as they are subnormally assertive; as guilt prone; insecure; as tense; hyper vigilant, and tending to perceive their environment as dangerous, as covertly resentful; as obsessive-compulsive; as more or less than average susceptibility to anxiety and depression.
This may indicate that the difference between hypertensives and normal tensives is that hypertensives cannot express their anger where normal tensives can. This assumption is commonly accepted, although research indicates expression of anger does not reduce one's hostility.
Various laboratory studies have shown that if a fear situation is presented to a hypertensive patient a rise in blood pressure results. When the fear stimulus is removed an immediate drop in blood pressure follows. On the other hand, if an anger stimulus is presented to a hypertensive patient, the blood pressure also rises but when the anger situation is removed the blood pressure continues to remain high (Buss, 1966: 412). The difference evidently is that in an anger situation, the person remains agitated for a much longer period of time, whereas once there is clearly no danger in a fear situation the agitation is reduced much more quickly. For example, if a husband says something to his wife to make her angry (raising the blood pressure) and then later apologizes, her blood pressure remains high. Anger is evidently a situation where even if an attempt is made to rectify the situation, it is still perceived as upsetting. On the other hands, a fear situation such as a mother's fear that her child has fallen into a bathtub full of water, is easily reduced once the mother finds the child is not in the bathtub and safe. Subjects exposed to a high level of fear do not tend to develop hypertension, whereas subjects exposed to a large number of situations which precipitate aggression tend to develop hypertension.
The reason for these results could be that situations
which cause aggression raise the blood pressure and keep it
higher for much longer periods of time, a situation which is
conducive to developing hypertension. Fear, on the other
hand, likewise raises the blood pressure, but once the fear
situation is past, the blood pressure immediately is lowered,
a situation which is not conducive to developing hypertension. The implication here is that the problem of anger is
not a matter of being able to "let one's hostilities out" but
the pure fact of perceiving a situation in such a way that
one can avoid eliciting aggression in the first place. Thus it
is the reaction to a situation and not the situation itself that
causes the problem. Even if one expresses his aggression, it
is still going to cause problems. The key is to not develop
the hostile impulses in the first place. One's attitude toward
the environment around him is the all important factor.
All of our present research evidence indicates that the ventilationist position is invalid. Releasing one's aggressive feelings and "getting it out of one's system" does not reduce aggressive feelings in the long run and can increase the person's general level of aggression. The most effective way of dealing with aggression is to solve the problem which elicits the aggression in the first place. In addition, learning to control one's emotions and physical outburst is also quite functional. The key is proper training primarily from the parents. Also necessary is knowledge of aggression, its function, source, and purpose, and the will power to develop self-control and work at solving the problems which cause one's aggression.
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