You Did That on Purpose Understanding and Changing Children's Aggression Cynthia Hudley

Publication date:
09 Sep 2008
Yale University Press
192 pages: 210 x 140 x 17mm
1 b-w illus.
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Some children are prone to a particular kind of aggression when they are with their peers. For these children, any harm done to them—even something as inconsequential as a jostle in the lunch line—is perceived as intentional. Their style of social information processing, termed “hostile attributional bias,” increases the likelihood of retaliating with excessive and inappropriate physical aggression. In this valuable book, parents and professionals who work with children will learn what can be done to better understand and control children’s aggression.


Beginning with a reader-friendly review of the literature, Cynthia Hudley underscores the substantial risks of long-term problems for elementary-school-age children who demonstrate aggressive behavior. Then, drawing on her work as founder of a successful school intervention program, the BrainPower Program, Hudley describes methods for reducing children’s peer-directed aggression. She concludes with a discussion of the importance of broad social contexts in supporting nonaggressive behavior.     

Cynthia Hudley is professor, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara. She lives in Los Angeles.

"Hudley's book is beautifully written and grounded in the empirical research literature. Its balance between research findings, practical implications, and case material will make it of interest to graduate students and school counselors alike."—Dorothy Espelage, University of Illinois


“In a lively, highly readable volume, Dr. Hudley brings together theory and research on solutions to the problem of childhood aggression. She provides a clear and compelling explanation of the common errors in thinking that encourage aggression.”—Karin Frey, University of Washington

"Hudley offers a readable, entertaining summary of research on childhood aggression and the interventions that can reduce it. . . . demonstrates the most effective programs in reducing aggression are those attending to family, community, peer, and school environments simultaneously. Highly recommended."—Choice