Aggressive behaviour in children has been a problem for decades in the society we live in and it is a phenomenon which continues in children today in spite of the negative impact it has on the socialisation of the child and the parent-child bonding. Aggression is regarded as a normal feeling, but the way in which the child vents his anger must be determined according to boundaries. Children in their middle childhood years yearn for a feeling of belonging to. If the child is pushed at or even rejected by friends, they are inclined to protect themselves often by aggressive behaviour. It is the parent’s responsibility to build optimal relationships with the child. The child in the middle childhood years is still dependent on his parents for love and security. There is a connection between a child’s aggressive behaviour and the type of parent-child bonding. The research hypothesis, namely if the child in the middle childhood years gets support and advice by means of the play therapeutic intervention programme, the child should become aware of his aggression, and the parent-child bonding will be strengthened. The aim of the study was to make the aggressive child more aware of his aggression in order to support the child in improving his relationship with his parents. To achieve this goal a literature as well as an empirical study were carried at. Literature on the aggressive child in the middle childhood years, the parent-child bond and playtherapy using the gestalt approach enabled the researcher to complete the study successfully and to develop insight. The empirical research involved that six junior-primary school children who exhibited aggressive behaviour, were involved in the intervention programme which consisted of ten sessions. The parents of the relevant children were also involved during the first and last three sessions of the intervention programme. Intervention research in the form of a combination of qualitative and quantifying research was conducted. Quasi-experimental research in the form of the single system design was conducted to determine to what degree the independent variable influenced the dependent variable. Standardised scales were used as the measuring instrument during the pre and post testing. The research hypothesis could thus be established and the effectiveness of the programme could be determined. Conclusions and recommendations could be made from the study. From the study it seems that the intervention programme can be applied successfully with the aggressive child and his parents. The parent and the child could learn now behavioural patterns and thus accept responsibility for their behaviour and were enabled to make decisions.
Thesis (DPhil (Social Work))--University of Pretoria, 2006.