The Effect of a Self-Monitored Relaxation Breathing Exercise on Male Adolescent Aggressive Behavior

By Gaines, Trudi; Barry, Leasha M. | Adolescence, Summer 2008 | Go to article overview

The Effect of a Self-Monitored Relaxation Breathing Exercise on Male Adolescent Aggressive Behavior


Gaines, Trudi, Barry, Leasha M., Adolescence


Aggression is a focus of therapeutic interventions with adolescents already involved in the legal system and who may well be on their way to establishing intractable behavior patterns. These patterns may be carried into adulthood and likely result in criminal activity and incarceration with recidivism reported as high as 50% (Snyder & Sickmund, 1999). While not all adolescents with aggression problems will follow this developmental path, almost all incarcerated adults bring a history of delinquency and aggression with them into their troubled existence (Kazdin, Siegel, & Bass, 1992).The World Health Organization has reported violence as being a global health problem, and so, to intervene effectively in an early stage of this problem's development holds important social merit (Krug, Dahlberg, Mercy, Zwi, & Lozano, 2002).

According to Goldstein, Glick, and Gibbs (1998), the definition of aggression derives from social learning theory and, therefore, constitutes learned behavior that stems from the interaction of the individual with the environment. The development of violent conduct as reported by Nietzel, Haseman, and Lynam (1999) occurs when biological, environmental, psychological, and social factors blend in certain patterns. These definitions and origins notwithstanding, the point at which the individual responds to the stimulus, either in a deliberate or automatic fashion, contains elements that can be ameliorated regardless of the aforementioned factors and origins.

Researchers have focused on aggressive behavior among adolescents in various environments to include education (Frey, Hirschstein, & Guzzo, 2000; Deffenbacher, Lynch, Oetting, & Kemper, 1996), corrections (Steiner, Garcia, & Matthews, 1997; Swenson & Kennedy, 1995), and mental health treatment settings (Margolin, Youga, & Ballou, 2002; Snyder, 1999). The authors of this study sought to contribute to efforts which identify effective prevention measures that educators and other professionals who work with adolescents can incorporate into a variety of settings, which are cost effective, and which entail the least disruption to normal daily activities and routines.

Anger management interventions typically include relaxation exercises for stress and anxiety reduction, and these exercises often focus on the breath (Fraser, 1996). When adolescents learned about the physiology of anger and how to use the techniques that promote relaxation and self-regulation, teachers, parents and the adolescents themselves reported improvement in their behavior (Kellner, 1999). The recommendations made by Rutherford, Quinn, and Mathur, 1996) described an approach to aggression and problem behaviors that included the various components of social skills training, cooperative learning, anger management, and self-control strategies. The anger management component emphasized the teaching of specific relaxation and stress-reduction breathing exercises, which included deep breathing and deep muscle relaxation. Other relaxation techniques that have been shown to be useful in arousal reduction are progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga, guided imagery, and biofeedback.

Relaxation exercises and techniques are frequently included when behavioral problems are the focus of interventions because of their association with physiological arousal reduction that can have a negative influence on behavior (Novaco, 1975). The physiological arousal associated with aggression includes an increase in heart rate, muscle tension, and breathing rate (Kellner & Tuttin, 1995). With an increase in this physiological arousal comes an increase in angry thoughts, even more so when combined with alcohol and or drugs, and results in an inhibition of internal control (Hollin, 2003). The ability to reduce the arousal response through increased self-regulation is a necessary ingredient in the prevention of an aggressive response. When adolescents were instructed in relaxation coping skills, they were able to calm down, to not become so angry in the first place, and to better think through and to proactively cope with their angry feelings (Deffenbacher et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Effect of a Self-Monitored Relaxation Breathing Exercise on Male Adolescent Aggressive Behavior
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.