Over the years I have encountered people who performed particular actions out of spite.
Whether they admitted it at the time, were aware of it, there is no other reading of the behaviour than spite. Often, the targets are the parents. The child will ‘punish’ the parents by hurting him/herself.
In a short item posted In Hurt Me to Hurt You. I touched on the topic, avoiding the use of the word ‘spite’. But the word is apt.
Many people do things out of spite; they gain nothing, they can lose everything, but the momentary joy of knowing that for a few seconds or minutes or even hours, they caused others pain is ‘worth it’ to them.
The following articles are examples of how far people go to ‘spite’ others