Aggression Treatment Center in Detroit, Michigan

Detroit Behavioral Institute helps teens who are struggling with aggression through an unmatched quality of care and support. Located in Detroit, Michigan, DBI is the leading provider of aggression treatment.

Aggression Treatment

Learn more about aggression treatment at Detroit Behavioral Institute in Michigan

There are many consequences that can result if a child or adolescent displays ongoing aggressive behaviors. Often indicative that a mental health condition is present, belligerent and hostile behavior or actions towards others can cause a great deal of disruption in a young person’s life. And while it is developmentally appropriate that youth display some sort of acting out or rebellious behavior from time to time, some children and adolescents are aggressive to the degree that disciplinary action at school or legal involvement is warranted. This type of aggression often exceeds what is considered socially acceptable for young people and, in most cases, elicits a need for treatment in order to decrease these problematic behaviors.

Parents and caregivers of children or adolescents who are blatantly defiant, violent towards others, destroy property, and have difficulty managing behaviors and impulses can seek and engage their child or adolescent in treatment that can greatly improve his or her life. Effective care for aggressive behaviors can identify the causes of a youth’s aggression and teach new skills for managing such behaviors. Those who partake in treatment can also gain a better understanding of how problematic behavior impacts other areas of life. It is with this kind of care that a youth can realize that he or she can have a bright and happy future without the disruption and strife that comes with aggressive behaviors.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for aggression

There are a number of causes for aggressive behavior. The following explanations describe why some individuals are more inclined to be aggressive than others and highlight the underlying reasons why aggressive behavior occurs:

Genetic: When a youth has a family history of a mental health condition or conditions in which aggression is a symptom, it is likely that he or she will display some sort of aggressive behavior at some point as well. Additionally, geneticists have recently identified a gene that is believed to cause a person to act out violently when it is present. Because of these two findings, it can be deduced that aggressive tendencies do have genetic influences.

Environmental: There are a number of environmental influences that can trigger aggression in a young person. Additionally, certain environments can exacerbate aggressive behaviors if a child is battling a mental illness that includes aggression as a symptom. Examples of such environments can include those in which violence, stress, and/or chaos is prevalent or common.

Mental health disorders: Many mental health conditions include aggression as a symptom. The following disorders are examples of those that include aggression as a symptom and, more often than not, require care to reduce the severity and occurrence of aggressive behaviors:

  • Conduct disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Intermittent explosive disorder


Effects of aggression

Young people who do not receive care for aggressive behaviors are likely to experience a number of harmful and life-altering effects if these behaviors are allowed to remain. The following are consequences of ongoing aggressive behaviors that can be avoided if appropriate care is sought and implemented:

  • Disciplinary action at school
  • Expulsion from school
  • Poor academic performance
  • Hindered learning
  • Academic failure
  • Increased interaction with the legal system
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Inability to make friends
  • Inability to maintain healthy relationships with others
  • Increased conflict with others
  • Inability to adjust to change
  • Substance use or abuse, which can lead to addiction or dependence
  • Hospitalization

Types of Treatment

Types of aggression treatment offered at Detroit Behavioral Institute in Michigan

Extreme emotional outbursts that entail overtly aggressive behaviors or actions towards others or property frequently suggest that an individual is grappling with a form of mental illness. Children and adolescents who display such hostility, especially when the behaviors are out of proportion to the youth’s developmental age, could greatly benefit from treatment if these actions cause physical harm or damage to their person, others, or things. Such behaviors typically manifest in the forms of temper tantrums, fighting, or destroying things in and around the youth’s environment. Seeking treatment to cease these problematic behaviors is one of the best things a parent or caregiver can do for a child who is aggressive. Mental health care can elicit a definitive diagnosis and implement treatment that addresses the causes of a child’s aggression, as well as provide a youth with tools for managing behaviors and impulses to prevent future aggressive outbursts.

Additionally, treatment for aggressive behavior can significantly reduce the harmful effects that would otherwise ensue if a child or adolescent does not receive care for this type of problem. Young people with belligerent behaviors have an increased likelihood for interaction with the legal system and disciplinary action at school if aggressive tendencies remain. The first step towards avoiding these effects is to consider and seek an evaluation from a mental health professional so that appropriate and effective care can be recommended. During the evaluation stage of the treatment-seeking process, a preliminary diagnosis can be decided and treatment options can be discussed in terms of what type of treatment will afford a youth with the greatest likelihood for successful treatment outcomes.

One such treatment option that has proven effectiveness in helping youth learn to manage aggressive tendencies is residential treatment. Within this type of treatment setting, youth are able to receive ongoing support from professionals who are trained to provide care for young people who are overtly aggressive. These professionals are also able to intervene at a moment’s notice should a violent outburst occur and have the time to help youth process why such behavior is not appropriate. Additionally, children and adolescents who partake in residential treatment can receive care for any existing mental health condition that may be causing aggressive behaviors. Psychiatrists are also on hand in residential treatment and can recommend and prescribe medications if it is deemed necessary for a youth’s care. Lastly, given the secure setting that is part of residential care, young people who display aggressive behaviors have a safe place to process their thoughts and practice newly learned coping skills that can ultimately be of service long after treatment is complete.

What Past Clients Say

Comparing my son's behavior from before going to DBI to now is such a turnaround! I cannot thank the staff enough!

– Parent of a former client