Protective and Provocative Family Factors of Aggressive Behavior in Children and Adolescents



The article examines the protective and the provocative family factors of aggressive behavior in children and adolescents. The negative influence of aggression on the process of socialization is described as well as possible ways of preventive influence to even out the negative influence. During the analysis of scientific literature, including empirical studies of family factors and their influence on the manifestation of aggressive behavior in children and adolescents, two significant clusters are identified: a family’s socio-demographic factors and intrafamily psychological factors as well as social attitudes. In this article, the authors describe a family’s psychological factors, and social attitudes in terms of their protective or provocative influence on the manifestation of aggressive behavior in children and adolescents, as well as in terms of a possible preventive and/or corrective effect on these factors. The frequent manifestation of acts of aggression, as well as the high level of aggressiveness and hostility of children and adolescents relative to the average indicators of their society, is considered as a consequence of deviations in the process of their socialization. The relationship between aggressive behavior and socialization allow the authors to state the importance of a complex integrated approach to the prevention and correction of the aggressive behavior of children and adolescents from the “risk group” from such “agents” of socialization as family and school. The work also examines current examples of complex preventive impact on the personality of a student with the help of positive psychological interventions (PPI), based on the example of foreign experience in the use of PPI. In addition, it substantiates the need for coordinated interaction between the institution of the family and the educational institution for an effective positive impact on the processes of socialization, as well as for the prevention and/or correction of aggressive behavior of minors.

General Information

Keywords: aggression of children and adolescents, aggressiveness, socialization, family system, prevention of aggression, positive psychological intervention

Journal rubric: Empirical and Experimental Research

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Rean A.A., Stavtsev A.A. Protective and Provocative Family Factors of Aggressive Behavior in Children and Adolescents. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2021. Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 137–149. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2021.202. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Axford, S., Schepens, R., Blythe, K. (2011). Did introducing the Bounce Back programme have an impact on resilience, connectedness, and well-being of children and teachers in 16 primary schools in Perth and Kinross, Scotland? Educational Psychology in Scotland, 12 (1), 25.
  2. Baron, R., Richardson, D. (1999). Aggression. St. Petersburg, Piter Publ. (Rus. ed.)
  3. Buss, A. H., Durkee, A. (1957). An inventory for assessing different kinds of hostility. Journal of consulting psychology, 21 (4), 343.
  4. Denckla, C. A., Cicchetti, D., Kubzansky, L. D., Seedat, S., Teicher, M. H., Williams, D. R., Koenen, K. C. (2020). Psychological resilience: an update on definitions, a critical appraisal, and research recommendations. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 11 (1), 1822064.
  5. Enikolopov, S. N. (2001). The concept of aggression in modern psychology. Prikladnaia psikhologiia, vol. 1, 60–72. (In Russian)
  6. Enikolopov, S. N. (2011). Methods of researching aggression in clinical psychology. In Zvereva N. V., Roshchina I. F. (eds.) Diagnostika v meditsinskoi psikhologii: traditsii i perspektivy (pp. 82–100). Moscow, MGPPU Publ. (In Russian)
  7. Etherton, K., Steele-Johnson, D., Salvano, K., Kovacs, N. (2020). Resilience effects on student performance and well-being: the role of self-efficacy, self-set goals, and anxiety. The Journal of General Psychology, 1–20.
  8. Fink, E., Patalay, P., Sharpe, H., Wolpert, M. (2018). Child- and school-level predictors of children’s bullying behavior: A multilevel analysis in 648 primary schools. Journal of educational psychology, 110 (1), 17.
  9. Fomby, P., Sennott, C. (2013). Family Structure Instability and Mobility: The Consequences for Adolescents’ Problem Behavior. Social Science Research.
  10. Hazler, R. J. (1996). Breaking the cycle of violence: Interventions for bullying and victimization. London, Taylor & Francis.
  11. Lereya, S. T., Samara, M., Wolke, D. (2013). Parenting behavior and the risk of becoming a victim and a bully/victim: A meta-analysis study. Child abuse & neglect, 37 (12), 1091–1108.
  12. Lorenz, K. (1994). Aggression (the so-called “evil”) . Translation from German by G. F. Shveinik. Moscow, Progress Publ. (Rus. ed.)
  13. Martinelli, A., Ackermann, K., Bernhard, A., Freitag, C. M., Schwenck, C. (2018). Hostile attribution bias and aggression in children and adolescents: A systematic literature review on the influence of aggression subtype and gender. Aggression and violent behavior, 39, 25–32.
  14. Novikova, M. A., Rean, A. A. (2018) Family prerequisites for a child’s involvement in school bullying: the impact of psychological and social characteristics of the family. Psikhologicheskaia nauka i obrazovanie, 23 (4), 112–120. (In Russian)
  15. Peña-López I. et al. What School Life Means for Students’ Lives. OECD (2019), PISA 2018 Results, vol. III. Paris, PISA, OECD Publishing.
  16. Popovic, N., Boniwell, I. (2006). Personal Synthesis Programme: Bringing psychology to education. In A. Delle Fave (ed.) Dimensions of Well-Being: Research and Interventions. Milan, Franco Angeli.
  17. Rashid, T., Louden, R., Wright, L., Chu, R., Maharaj, A., Hakim, I., Kidd, B. (2017). Flourish: A strengthsbased approach to building student resilience. In Positive psychology interventions in practice (pp. 29– 45).
  18. Cham, Springer. Rean, A. A. (1996). Aggression and aggressiveness of the personality. Psikhologicheskii zhurnal, vol. 17 (5), pp. 3–18. (In Russian)
  19. Rean, A. A. (2013). Psychology of personality. St. Petersburg, Piter Publ. (In Russian)
  20. Rean, A. A. (2015). Family as a factor of prevention and risk of victim behavior. Natsional’nyi psikhologicheskii zhurnal, 1, 3–8. (In Russian)
  21. Rean, A. A. (2018). Prevention of aggression and asociality of under-age. Natsional’nyi psikhologicheskii zhurnal, 2 (30), 3–12. (In Russian)
  22. Rean, A. A., Novikova, M. A. (2019). Bullying among high school students in the Russian Federation: the prevalence and influence of socioeconomic factors. Mir psikhologii, 1, 165–177. (In Russian)
  23. Rean, A. A., Konovalov, I. A. (2019). Manifestation of aggressiveness in adolescents depending on gender and socio-economic status of the family. Natsional’nyi psikhologicheskii zhurnal, 1 (33), 23–33. (In Russian)
  24. Rean, A. A., Stavtsev, A. A. (2020). Positive psychological interventions as prevention of school trouble, aggression and bullying. Voprosy obrazovaniia, 3, 37–59. (In Russian)
  25. Rigby, K., Slee, P. T. (1993). Dimensions of interpersonal relation among Australian children and implications for psychological well-being. The Journal of social psychology, 133 (1), 33–42.
  26. Schwartz, D., Dodge, K. A., Pettit, G. S., Bates, J. E. (1997). The early socialization of aggressive victims of bullying. Child development, 68 (4), 665–675.
  27. Seligman, M., Ernst, R., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., Linkin, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35, 293–311.
  28. Sobkin, V. S., Abrosimova, Z. B., Adamchuk, D. V., Baranova, E. V. (2005). Teenager: norms, risks, deviations. Moscow, Institute of the Sociology of Education, Russian Academy of Education Press. (In Russian)
  29. Sobkin, V. S., Smyslova, M. M. (2014). Bullying within the walls of the school: the impact of the socio-cultural context (based on the materials of cross-cultural research). Sotsial’naia psikhologiia i obshchestvo, vol. 2, 71–86. (In Russian)
  30. Tejada-Gallardo, C., Blasco-Belled, A., Torrelles-Nadal, C., Alsinet, C. (2020). Effects of school-based multicomponent positive psychology interventions on well-being and distress in adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 49 (10), 1943–1960.
  31. Vries de, E. E., Verlinden, M., Rijlaarsdam, J., Jaddoe, V. W., Verhulst, F. C., Arseneault, L., Tiemeier, H. (2018). Like father, like child: early life family adversity and children’s bullying behaviors in elementary school. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 46 (7), 1481–1496.
  32. Waters, L., Loton, D. (2019). SEARCH: A meta-framework and review of the field of positive education. International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, 4 (1), 1–46.

Information About the Authors

Artur A. Rean, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, head of the laboratory for the prevention of antisocial behavior, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Academician of the RAE, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexey A. Stavtsev, PhD in Psychology, Research Analyst of the Center for Socialization, Family and Prevention of Antisocial Behavior Researchка, Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 652
Previous month: 13
Current month: 8


Total: 583
Previous month: 12
Current month: 0