What is violent behavior?

Violent Behavior
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How do patterns of violent behavior change over time?

Violent behavior often begins with verbal threats but over time escalates to involve physical harm.

Violent behavior may occur in cycles. First, there is conflict and tension. This is followed by abuse of a person or destruction of property. This pattern usually repeats itself and gets worse over time.

If there is a cycle, learning to recognize it may help you prevent violence from occurring.

What puts a person at risk for becoming violent?

There are some things that can increase a person's risk for becoming violent. But many people experience these things and do not become violent. These include:

  • A history of childhood abuse.
  • A history of physical discipline.
    • Violence is learned behavior. It is important to help your children learn that violence is not a healthy way to resolve conflict. Set a good example by handling conflict in a calm and thoughtful manner. Never use violence, such as spanking, pinching, ear pulling, jabbing, shoving, or choking, to discipline your child.
  • Low self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness.
  • Alcohol or drug use or a substance use disorder.
  • A mental health condition, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or personality disorder.
  • A history of arrests.
  • A history of attempted suicide.
  • Feelings of suspicion or hostility.

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