The author describes characteristics of patients, primarily adolescents,
who suffer from episodic violent behavior and their relations with their
families. Typical family patterns include overly close alliances by the
adolescent with one or both parents and transmission by parents of
inconsistent values regarding aggression. Family therapy is the preferred
treatment approach; treatment should be active, should initially focus on
ways of handling dyscontrol episodes, and should emphasize that the patient
is responsible for his or her actions.