Evidence of Effects of Early Exposure to Aggression
Many chalk up unhealthy behaviors during the teenage years to normal adolescent shortcomings, but one study suggests people adapt to aggressive behaviors much earlier than puberty. The study, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, found that children who had fathers with an alcohol use disorder beginning at a young age were more likely to become aggressive and perpetuate dating violence when they became teenagers.
Additionally, the study found that the mothers in those families tended to suffer from depressive symptoms, which left them less able to be warm and sensitive with their children during their early years. The finding is significant because it established a link between warm, sensitive mothers and children who are better able to regulate their emotions and behaviors as they grow up. The authors note that children who are more aggressive during their younger years are more likely to grow up and be aggressive with their romantic partners during their teenage years.