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It is true that such regression might be caused by unconscious underlying feelings concerning the divorce. He also might feel hidden sense of guilt. In addition, he was moved to an alternate school. Probably, his aggression toward his peers is a way of an emotional outlet (Goodenough, 1931). The boy might be angry on himself, though it is not his fault in existing situation. It is clear that he is not ready to leave the anger management. Instead of intensifying the anger management program, it might be better to involve both parents and carry out the group therapy.
Quite possible that it is hard for a child to travel to another state every time he/she wants to see one of his/her parents. It is hard both in adaptation to such conditions and in regards to emotional stress and discomfort, which child have to suffer every time. The reason the boy acting aggressively might be caused by his sense of defectiveness, as his parents got divorced and live separately (Goodenough, 1931). Maybe he has not quite realized and accepted the whole facts and such sudden changes in his life. That could be the reason why the anger management has not worked properly and he returned to his aggressive behavior.
It is true that the 16 year old boy is not ready to deal with his problems alone. He might be afraid of responsibility and alienation that fell down on him. His fits of anger can be explained with a lack of self-confidence, as well as non-acceptance of such serious and disagreeable changes in his life. Such emotional outlet allows him to draw attention and call for help in some way (Goodenough, 1931). Instead of taking anger management classes, it might be better to help him learn how to deal with difficulties of life, how to accept changes and to develop willpower. Researches also shown that disagreement between parents is causing aggression and anxiety in children, especially in boys. It means that parents have to be involved at first place.
It is true that the important part of assessment and evaluation of the client is a behavioral analysis using the graphs, diagrams, etc. It is important to collect as many data about client as possible, so to it is easier to trace changes, whether it is a degradation and regression or a development and progress. However, the interpretation of the data and the changes in client’s behavior and condition is also important (Gambrill, 1977). It is also significant to consider the extraneous variables. They can both help or disturb the behavior modification procedures. It is also good to trace emotional and conditional changes by interviewing clients. However, the underlying ideas of questions might tell more about client’s true intentions and emotional condition.
Indeed, the assessment in applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is important. The ABA is the application of behavior modification procedures to common situations of everyday life. It is clear that the evaluation of behavior is necessary to trace the changes toward or backward to the desired one (Gambrill, 1977). It is significant concerning the necessity and intensity of treatment. It is also useful as for the evaluation of effectiveness of treatment. The assessment can be carried out by the interviewing, rating scale or simply by observing the client. The indirect assessments are useful as for the emotional defining of client and the statistical measures of changes (Gambrill, 1977). Using the accurate assessments, the proper behavior modifications can be applied.
Gambrill, E. D. (1977). Behavior modification: handbook of assessment, intervention, and evaluation. New York, United States: Jossey-Bass Inc. Publishers.
Goodenough, F.L. (1931). Anger in young children. Minneapolis, United States: University of Minnesota Press.