ABSTRACT

Aggression is one of the instinctual drives basic to man as one species of animal. It has a positive developmental function and it is also used to defend aspects of life held vital to the preservation of the species or the self. In family life the destructive potential of the aggressive drive, and the way aggression is channelled within the family, is largely determined by th~ conscious process of the older family members. In all families, however, there are moments when these conscious processes - and the ideal intentions of the adult members - slip or are provoked; and adults experience their more primitive feeling and display more childish behaviour than they themselves consciously approve. These moments are the subject-matter of this chapter.