Introduction Children behave differently because of various reasons. While some are trouble-free, others exhibit problematic traits right from infancy. Researchers have conducted numerous studies in order to address the causes and response to problematic behaviours in children…
Equally, Bronfenbrenner, Pavlov, Skinner, Watson, Vygotsky in the midst of others, are among the distinguished theorists who have addressed the issue. This paper will review literature discussing theories and theorists concerned with the cause and response to problematic behaviour in children. Causes of problematic behaviour in children The development of children behaviours, whether good or problematic, starts at an early age. These behaviours may persist, if no intervention measures are put in place. In addition, the magnitude of the problem develops with age, as children who demonstrate problematic behaviours during their earlier years are likely to show more problems later in life (Papatheodorou, 2005 pp. 4). These behaviours start at birth, when they are controlled by external factors. Bowlby’s attachment theory asserts that infants begin to develop psychological attachment to the first people they relate with, and use the knowledge they acquire to shape their behaviours. The infant-parent relationship is thus very useful in influencing the environment that shapes the behaviour of the children (Wallach & Caulfield, 1998 pp. 125). According to Dowling (2009 pp. 11), developing the confidence of children at a tender age plays a major role in shaping their behaviours. She affirms that, confidence is a driver in supporting the growth at a tender age. It is apparent that children gain confidence from the relationship they develop with their parents. Such activities as allowing children to play may increase their self-confidence, which plays a role in shaping their behaviours (Dowling, 2009 pp. 11). John Bowlby (Arnold, 2010 pp. 21) in his study of the attachment theory affirmed that the earliest bond between children and their caregivers has a lasting effect in their lives. These affects are demonstrated in their behaviours, which may be problematic or calm. Children who do not have strong attachments with their parents or caregivers usually develop oppositional-defiant, conduct disorder and in extreme cases post-traumatic depression. This makes the children aggressive, upset most of the time and having a feeling of insecurity (Arnold, 2010 pp. 23). Piaget’s theory about children development cements the attachment theory. According to Piaget, children have the ability to construct their own knowledge based on the experiences they go through. In addition, he affirms that accommodation and assimilation play a role in shaping the behaviours of children. As a result, children who are rejected at a tender age may learn bad traits, which are reflected in their behaviours (Bronfenbrenner, 1979 pp. 10). Domestic violence in the families also plays a major role in shaping the behaviours of children. This incidence entails any form of threatening behaviour or violence, physical, psychological, financial or sexual between two adults who have been living together. Such incidences are devastating to the lives of a child who may not be aware of what is going on. What children see, hear or experience during the violence makes them change their perception as well as behaviours. Children who for example hear their parent scream in anger or plead in fear, will develop aggression and hatred towards a certain group of people. As a result, the hatred is reflected in their behaviours (Sterne, Poole, Chadwick, & Lawler, 2010 pp. 4). On a larger perspective, the society in which children are brought up ...
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