Destructive Behaviors: Causes & Overview

Instructor: Holly DeLuca

Holly has taught special education students and has a master's degree in special education

In this lesson, you will learn about different types of destructive behavior, as well as some of the causes for those behaviors. We will look at lying, stealing, cheating, and violent behavior.

An Everyday Example of Destructive Behavior

It's a typical day in high school. You go to your classes like usual. When you get to math class, you panic. You forgot to do last night's homework. The teacher asks everyone to pass their homework in. You raise your hand and the teacher calls on you. You tell her that you had a death in the family and didn't get to the homework. She sympathizes with you, and tells you that it's okay, you may turn it in tomorrow. Relief washes over you, and you know now you won't lose ten points.

Overview of Destructive Behaviors

What just happened here? You lied. Lying is a type of destructive behavior that people engage in. Why do we lie? Think about it. Have you ever told someone that the job you have or the money you make is better than it really is? There are other destructive behaviors that we humans engage in also. Stealing, cheating, and violent behavior also make the list.

Thinking back on your own experiences, there are certainly instances in which you have stolen something… maybe something as simple as a wifi signal. On the other end of the spectrum, people may steal money or possessions of others. Why do people do this?

Cheating is another way we get ourselves into trouble. People can do things as simple as cheating on a test in school, or really get themselves into trouble by cheating on their spouse. Again, why do people cheat? Did you know that men are more at risk of cheating than women? This is just one risk factor for cheating.

Finally, let's look at violent behavior. Violent behavior consists of aggressive acts that cause harm to another person or to an environment. If you have ever been in a situation in which you felt like becoming violent, you may relate to this; people can push our buttons, and push us to our limits. Or, you can be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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