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Verbal aggression is message behavior which attacks a persons self-conceptinorder to deliver psychological painInfante 1995 Studies of verbalaggressionhave focused primarily on children and adolescents in educational and socialsettings Very few studies were found to examine verbal aggression in adultsin theworkplaceEbbesen Duncan Konecni 1974 The consequences of verbalaggression in the workplace can lead to social isolation job related stresshealthrelated problems as well as problems in career advancement It thereforeshouldbe considered important for the individual and management to identify andaddress the causes of verbal aggression This program attempts to understand verbal aggression by 1 identifying thevarious functions of verbal aggression 2 identifying the antecedentconditions ofverbal aggression 3 Avoiding the antecedent conditions of verbalaggression MethodSubject The subject Shirley J is a 49 year old African American female ShirleyJ hasseveral advanced degrees and is employed as a school psychologist in ametropolitan school district She is married with two adult children Thesubjectreadily agreed that the target behavior verbal aggression is a problem asitinterferes with her relationships with others She was enthusiastic in herdesire toreduce if not eliminate this behavior It would seem that self-monitoringforverbal aggression and antecedent control would be valuable as it would allowforconsistent avoidance of verbal aggression As a school psychologist thesubject wasvery familiar with the basic principles of applied behavioral analysis andfrequentlyoffered programmatic suggestions A behavioral contract was developedjointlybetween the therapist and subject The contract outlined the targetbehaviorsuccess criteria and individual responsibilities of the therapist andsubject seeAppendix AApparatus A basic checklist was used to document the frequency of verbal aggression onadaily basis The checklist was designed to track only the occurrence of thebehavior It was felt by the therapist that the content of the verballyaggressivemessage would be too open for subjective interpretation and that nomeaningfuldata would be gained from such documentation In addition the subject madefrequent comments of significant success or failure in avoiding verbalaggressionfor discussion with the therapist The weekly discussions were used toevaluate theappropriateness of
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