The Causes Of Anger And Aggression In Our Teenage Boys

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Negative behavioral patterns may be increasingly observed in teenage boys, often putting parents and guardians in a position of helplessness, fear and being overwhelmed when it comes to learning how to effectively address these behaviors.

Teenage boys who exemplify behaviors such as physical aggression, abusive acting out, verbal destruction, etc. can labeled as “bad,” or others may assume that a caregiver has been ineffective with parenting. The reality is that behavioral issues, such as anger and aggression, often develop as a result of many complex factors and do not mean that a parent or child is “bad.”

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Possible Causes Of Anger And Aggression In Teenage Boys

As with other behavioral, emotional and psychological conditions, myriad factors play a role in the development of aggressive behaviors in teenage boys. Some of these factors may be biological in nature, meaning that they can increase a boy’s susceptibility to behavioral issues.

There are also environmental experiences that can trigger behavioral and maladaptive emotional responses in teenage boys, and the combination of these complex factors can cause an increase in anger and aggression.

Recent research in the area of aggressive behaviors in teenagers has uncovered possible biological factors, such as adaptations in the limbic system of the brain, which is associated with the expression of fear and anxiety. [1] Other research in the area of disruptive behaviors in teens has also demonstrated that abnormal neurotransmitter levels can contribute to an increase in violent behaviors. [1]

These biological anomalies coupled with environmental stressors, such as the experience of a traumatic event or lack of emotional support, can lead to disturbed brain functions and disruptive behaviors.

Effectively Managing Aggressive Male Teen Behavior

Father And Teenage Son Hugging - Addiction HopeAs a parent of a teenage boy who acts out aggressively, you may have difficulty determining what the most effective way to approach these behaviors is.

Aggressive behavior can be displayed in multiple ways, including:

  • Physical acts of violence
  • Verbal abuse
  • Anger outbursts
  • Bullying
  • And more

While it may be a natural tendency to react out of a place of frustration, hurt or anger, it is important to remember that aggression will only fuel and provoke anger and aggressive behavior. Encouraging your child to communicate openly and express his emotions in a healthy manner can help diffuse a tense situation and allow a teen to better manage his feelings. It may also be necessary to set appropriate boundaries with your teenager by creating natural consequences as a result of aggressive behavior.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with your teenager’s behavior or are unsure how to best deal with their anger and aggression, consider seeking the help of a professional counselor who can guide you through this situation. Know that you are not alone and that there are many resources that can effectively support you and your family through the difficulty of managing aggressive behaviors in your teenage boy.

Having support with your parenting – as well as appropriate therapeutic interventions, such as psychotherapy and/or medication management – can be helpful in approaching aggressive and angry outbursts from your child.

Community Discussion: Share Your Thoughts Here!

If you are the parent or caregiver of a teenage boy who has struggled with behavioral issues, which resources or treatment approaches did you find to be helpful and effective? What encouragement might you offer to other families who have found themselves dealing with a similar situation? Please share your input below.


[1]: Sahley, Billie J.  “Teen Anger and Aggression – Neurotransmitter Deficiency,” Accessed 10 March 2016

About Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC

Jacquelyn Ekern founded Addiction Hope in January, 2013, after experiencing years of inquiries for addiction help by visitors to our well regarded sister site, Eating Disorder Hope. Many of the eating disorder sufferers that contact Eating Disorder Hope also had a co-occurring issue of addiction to alcohol, drugs, and process addictions.