Aggression and violence have long been known to be impediments to precision learning in childhood and adolescence. Today, school violence has reached epidemic proportions and school districts everywhere are desperately searching for ways to curb destructive behavior in middle and high school students.
Structured anger management classes or individual tutoring in anger management is currently the intervention of choice for aggressive behavior in schools. Since anger in not a pathological condition, counseling or psychotherapy is neither effective nor appropriate. According to the American Psychiatric Association, anger is a normal human emotion. Anger is considered a problem under the following circumstances:
- When it is too intense
- When it occurs too frequently
- When it lasts too long
- When in destroys personal relationships
- When it leads to aggression or violence
- When it impacts concentration or memory/learning
Anger is a secondary emotion preceded by such primary emotions such as anxiety, stress, depression, fear or low self-esteem.
Successful anger management intervention models include a non-psychiatric assessment at intake, which determines the student’s current ability to recognize and manage stress, degree of empathy or emotional intelligence, self-awareness, self-control, and the ability to accurately perceive and manage social relationships.
In order to justify teacher-training in anger management facilitator certification, the curriculum in question must have an assessment tool and a student workbook. The assessment tool must have a pre- and post-test design that is utilized to determine what the potential client’s deficits are (pre), and whether or not there has been any successful change in the client’s behavior (post). The workbook is necessary for use during the intervention.
George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers
Anderson & Anderson®, The Trusted Name in Anger Management