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Perelberg, R.J. (1995). Violence in Children and Young Adults: A Review of the Literature and Some New Formulations. Bul. Anna Freud Centre, 18(2):89-122.

(1995). Bulletin of the Anna Freud Centre, 18(2):89-122

Violence in Children and Young Adults: A Review of the Literature and Some New Formulations

Rosine Jozef Perelberg

Introduction

Since Freud postulated aggression as a drive in 1920, this concept has been a source of profound debate among psychoanalysts. Few ideas in psychoanalytic theory have generated more controversy (Mitchell, 1993) than the question of whether aggression is a fundamental or irreducible human instinct, whether it is innate or reactive to the environment. The perception of aggression as a drive has been followed by many, including Klein (1957), Abraham (1924), Solnit (1972), Kernberg (1984) and Shengold (1991, 1993).

Aggression has also been seen as a reaction to an experience of danger, such as breaks in attunement (Stern, 1985), impingement (Winnicott, 1971), negative affective experiences (Osofsky & Elberhart-Wright 1988), or as defence against threats to the psychological self (Fonagy, Moran and Target, 1993; Fairbairn (1954) viewed aggression as a result of the infant's deprivation and lack of gratification.

The term aggression has been used to cover a wide variety of behaviours, from self-assertion to destructiveness.

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