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Anger management and regression in teenage boys

Need some assistance with completing this scenario. You have been working with a 16 yr. old male who has been identified as a juvenile delinquent and placed into an alternate high school. He has been working with you for six months and has completed all of the modules of the anger management program that you teach. You have noticed, however, that in the last two weeks that he has gotten into trouble in his classes (e.g., provoking other students to fight with him). You have discussed this with him, his parents (who are divorced and live two states apart), and his teachers to determine the problem. No one understands his regression since nothing significant in his life has changed. Even he does not understand why he is feeling so angry. He says that he wants to stop getting into trouble and that he remembers everything that he learned in the anger management classes.

What are some reasons why his behavior might be regressing?
Is he ready to leave anger management counseling? Why or why not?
Suggest some strategies that you can use to help the client.

Solution Preview

There are a few reasons why this young man might be regressing. First of all, I am not sure from the vignette, but has he had a physical lately? Any time an individual experiences an increase in their negative behavior, it is a good idea to rule out any organic problems. For example, depressed adolescents (especially males) tend to express their depressive symptoms via angry outbursts. If you were to ask this client if he was feeling depressed, he might honestly say no, since most adolescents do not understand the signs of depression as it manifests differently for them than it would for an adult. Also, depressed males tend to act out aggressively whereas depressed females express depressive symptoms differently. Has this young man had a recent physical? If not, I would encourage him to see his physician to rule out a depressive episode. That is an important first step. Also, does he have a safe outlet for his aggression? 16-year-old boys are right in the middle of puberty, when testosterone levels are at their highest. He needs a safe outlet for all of his extra energy and aggression. Is ...

Solution Summary

This solution includes detailed information on how anger is expressed in teenage boys, and how they might regress after successfully completing anger management counseling.