Aggressive behaviour and violence in children and adolescents with FASD: A synthesizing review

Jessica J. Joseph, Mansfield Mela, Jacqueline Pei, Aggressive behaviour and violence in children and adolescents with FASD: A synthesizing review, Clinical Psychology Review, 2022,102155, ISSN 0272-7358,


Interpretation and response to behaviour is predicated on understanding. However, our present understanding of aggressive behaviour, especially for complex and vulnerable populations is limited.

The purpose of this review is to enhance our understanding of aggressive behaviour by providing a comprehensive outline of the conditions and underlying mechanisms that drive aggressive behaviour for children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), focusing on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

This review will: (1) Synthesize the present literature regarding aggressive behaviour, via the cognitive, environmental, and emotional factors that drive it, for children and adolescents with NDDs; (2) Identify and integrate information specific to the elevated vulnerability for aggressive behaviour that FASD poses; and (3) Utilize the information derived from the review to propose frameworks, in the form of two corresponding models, for recognizing and responding to aggressive behaviour.

The advantages of such neurodevelopmentally guided, comprehensive, and integrative framework are to clarify predisposing and perpetuating mechanisms, inform appropriate caregiver and caseworker support, and inform clinicians’ preliminary intervention. These ultimately should improve the ability to respond and promote healthy outcomes for these vulnerable youngsters.

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