teen aggression

Teenage Aggression and its Impact on the Family

January 25, 2018

It’s not uncommon for teenagers to go through a phase where they exhibit aggressive tendencies. Teen aggression can occur even if it was not a part of their personality in previous times. Luckily, teenage aggression is often outgrown. However, it’s essential for parents to take steps to ensure that teenagers effectively get past this stage without causing harm to themselves or others.

How Does It Impact Others In The Family?

It’s often extremely stressful for others in the family, including siblings. Not only does teenage anger often result in conflict with other family members, but it can cause situations to arise in a teenager’s life that require that others intervene. In some cases, teenagers who exhibit aggressive behavior may even get themselves into trouble with the law.

What Symptoms Do Teens With Anger Problems Often Experience?

While there are a variety of symptoms that teenagers with anger problems can experience, these are some of the most common ones:

  • Irritation over inconsequential events
  • Exaggerated responses to actual stressors
  • Making threats towards others
  • Getting in trouble at school
  • Frequent physical confrontations with peers
  • Destruction of property
  • Aggressive behavior towards animals
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Bullying of other teens
  • Adrenaline rushes
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Shaking
  • Stomach upset
  • Grinding teeth
  • Jaw clenching

It is important to note that not all aggressive teens will exhibit all of these symptoms, and these symptoms are not always visible to others.

Types Of Aggression

Different types of aggression lead to entirely different symptoms. There are two main types of aggressive behavior that teenagers may exhibit:

Passive Aggression:

Passive aggressive tendencies can be much more difficult to spot than overt acts of aggression. This is because the behaviors often do not appear to be aggressive in nature until they are more thoroughly examined.

Overt Aggression:

Overt aggression is nearly always easy to spot, and it typically involves many of the typical symptoms of aggression.

Causes Of Teen Anger:

There are psychological and physical causes of aggression in teenagers. Hormone levels change drastically during adolescence, and this causes substantial changes in behavior. This is particularly likely to cause aggressive behavior in teenage boys. Testosterone levels in teenage boys are often higher than they are later in life. Excessive levels of testosterone can cause aggressive tendencies.

Furthermore, the structure of the teenage brain makes teenagers more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior. The prefrontal cortex of teenagers isn’t fully developed. This part of the brain is responsible for higher level reasoning, and it plays a strong role in preventing acts of aggression later in life. The amygdala tends to be more active in one’s teenage years than during other times in one’s life.

Previous adverse life experiences increase a teenager’s risk of developing aggressive behaviors. Negative experiences that are currently occurring in a teenager’s life also increase their risk of becoming aggressive. Here are some examples of past and present life experiences that increase a teenager’s risk of becoming aggressive:

  • Being in an environment with physical or emotional abuse
  • Conflicts with peers.
  • Conflicts with authority figures
  • School and work pressures
  • Hunger (It is common for teenagers to have a very high appetite that isn’t always satisfied)
  • Underlying Psychiatric Problems: There are a variety of mental health problems that can cause aggressive behavior. Often times, these disorders start to manifest themselves during one’s teenage years. Some examples of conditions that can cause aggressive behavior include serious mental illnesses, such as Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Schizophrenia. However, more common mental health problems, such as depression or ADHD can increase a teenager’s chances of becoming aggressive.

How Can Teenage Aggression Be Treated?

While there are many different ways that aggravated behavior in teenagers can be treated, many of the most effective treatments are inpatient programs. They tend to feature a higher success rate than outpatient programs.

A teenager with an anger problem will receive counseling as well as any necessary medical interventions during their stay. However, medication isn’t necessary for all cases of teenage aggression. After leaving the facility, teenagers with anger problems receive detailed instructions on how to deal with their anger after returning home.


While teenage aggression is a common problem that often causes a lot of difficulty in the lives of teenagers and their family members, the problem is treatable. One of the best ways to treat teenage aggression is with the inpatient treatment that’s offered by Centered Health.



Health Direct