A certain degree of aggressiveness may be not only a normal part of childhood, but also an essential component of normal healthy development. The child who never stands up for his rights, who is apparently impervious to all and every frustration, or who is totally passive, might very well require help as urgently as the child whose aggression transcends what is either desirable or acceptable in terms of his own development or the safety and rights of others. When considering a child’s aggressive behaviour, it is particularly important, therefore, to assess how it compares both in frequency and severity with that displayed by his peers (e.g., research suggests that more than half of all boys at primary age have regular temper tantrums) both in and out of school.
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