Aggressive Behavior in Children Should Not Be Treated With Seclusion

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According to the latest study on aggressive behavior in children, researchers have found out that seclusion is not the best way to treat the problem. The study encompassed four countries and studied psychological effects of seclusion among children of who suffered different emotional and psychological problems. The researchers said that seclusion, if at all necessary, should be the last option of treatment.

The main researchers of the present study were from Turku and Tampere University in Finland. According to the research, the first choice in treatment of the problem should be verbal communication. Elders need to talk to children and teenagers to know the reason of aggression and provide counseling to the child. Locking them up in a room can in fact fuel aggression. Among the four where the research was carried out, seclusion was legal in three countries.

The study considered children and adolescents who had legal records against them. Johanna Berg, the lead author of the study said that it was difficult for forensic units to handle aggressive children between the age of 12 and 18. It was also said that frequency of juvenile crime has also seen and increase in the present times. The study, which spanned over Finland, Belgium, United Kingdom and Netherlands, said that the three countries followed similar concepts of treating aggressive children but the practical approach was different. The lead author belongs to University of Turku, department of nursing science.

Forensic units that housed 8 to 12 children were considered for the study. Children in these places were treated for a number of psychological problems ranging from mental disorders to behavior disorders. The forensic unit in UK unit is the oldest of the four units studied. It was set up in the 1980s, one unit each in Belgium and Netherlands were set up in the 1990s and the unit in Finland was set up in the 2000s. The total number of staff in all these facilities was 58. Staff included family therapists, sports instructors, social workers, psychologists, support workers, doctors, nurses, art therapists and occupational therapists. The average age of staff was 36.

Results of the study showed that the most favored technique was verbal intervention. This was also the most effective remedy. In Finland, seclusion is banned but in the other three countries, seclusion included keeping aggressive child away from other children for different durations ranging from 5 to 15 minutes. This method was only used when other methods did not work.