Aggression can become more than a social issue; it can lead to legal problems too. Social psychologists refer to any act aimed at harming a person or damaging property as aggression. For some people, these feelings can feel out of the scope of their control.
For individuals battling with aggressive tendencies, there may be underlying factors to consider. Understanding the factors might help those accused of assault and other violent crimes prevent aggressive acts in the future.
Psychological factors behind aggression
Various mental health conditions may factor into a person’s tendency to act aggressively. Chronic stress, depression, bipolar disorder and different personality disorders can affect a person’s ability to stay calm in the face of stressors. Other psychological conditions include:
- Substance abuse disorders
Treating underlying mental health conditions often helps people struggling with aggression learn to cope with their emotions better.
Biological factors behind aggression
The brain controls everything that people think, do and feel, so imbalances in a person’s brain chemistry can contribute to aggressive behavior. For instance, those with hormone imbalances may have low serotonin or dopamine levels. Likewise, high levels of testosterone could cause more aggression.
Irregular brain development can lead to decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex. People with irregular brain development may have low impulse control. Low impulse control mixed with anger can turn into devastating behavior.
Assault convictions often carry severe penalties, including jail time, no matter the reasoning. To reduce the chances of facing these serious consequences, individuals with aggressive tendencies should evaluate the underlying causes and work to minimize their effects.