Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

1. the unrestrained and improper attitudinal declaration of denied feelings that aids in reducing stress corresponding with these feelings or to present them in a concealed, or allusive, way to other people. Such actions may consist of fighting, battling, robbing, intimidating, or throwing fits. Acting out is usually thought to be due to underlying antisocial behavior in kids and teenagers but is not set on only this age group. 2. in psychoanalytic theory, the declaration of involuntary sentimental disputes, emotions, or demands-usually sexual or demanding- through improper action, with no effort to comprehend the origination or interpretation of these actions.

ACTING OUT: "Children who are victims of certain cognitive disabilities will often be seen acting out in public situations due to their level of discomfort in crowds or social situations."

More On This Topic

Link to This Definition

Did you find this definition of ACTING OUT helpful? You can share it by copying the code below and adding it to your blog or web page.