Imparting Self-Control Skills to Decrease Aggressive Behavior in a 12-Year-Old Boy: A Case Study

Tammie Ronen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


•Summary: This paper presents the case of a 12-year-old boy with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) who demonstrated no interest in participating in therapy. The aims of the paper were to present a multiple therapy design as an effective measurement for social workers to use in their regular intervention process; to learn about the relative effectiveness of three common methods for addressing ODD (behavior therapy being used in teacher supervision and parental counseling and cognitive therapy being used in the child’s individual therapy) and to present a self-control model for improving the child’s behavior. •Findings: The case study pointed to the efficacy of the self-control model for helping the child change. Therapy facilitated a significant decrease in the child’s disruptive behavior as well as a significant increase in the child’s self-control and social interaction. Also, the case study presented the feasibility of the single case design as an effective way for social workers to assess and evaluate their intervention. •Applications: The presented case study highlighted the ability of social workers: 1. to supervise parents and teachers as important change agents in the child’s environment; 2. to use the single case design in daily intervention; and 3. to utilize cognitive behavioral therapy as an effective method for change. The efficacy of the intervention pinpointed the need to apply the proposed methods for other problems as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-288
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • aggressive
  • behavior
  • emotion
  • self-control
  • thought


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