Investigation of relational and overt aggression among boys and girls.

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Description:

Given the paucity of research that has been conducted on aggression in girls (see Keenan, Loeber, & Green, 1999, for a review), it is important to examine different behavioral manifestations of aggression that may be more prevalent among girls than boys, such as relational aggression (see Crick et al., 1999, for a review). Relational aggression consists of behaviors that harm others through damage to their peer relationships or the threat of such damage (e.g., spreading rumors about a peer so that others will reject him/her, social exclusion; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are a particular subset of youth who are at increased risk for exhibiting aggressive behavior (Henker & Whalen, 1999; Whalen & Henker, 1985). The purpose of the present study was to assess the prevalence of relational aggression among children with attention problems as compared to the general population. Gender differences in relational aggression were also examined. In the current study, participants included 91 3rd-5th grade public school students. Teacher ratings of aggressive behavior and attention problems were obtained. Parents also completed measures to assess attention problems and social-psychological adjustment. Contrary to prediction, results indicated children with attention problems were not more aggressive than children without attention problems, regardless of the type of aggressive behavior assessed (i.e., relational or overt aggression). With respect to gender differences in relational aggression, results indicate the well-known gender effect for relational aggression only applies to Caucasian students in this sample, as a gender effect for relational aggression was not obtained for Hispanic students. Thus, the gender effect for relational aggression should not be considered a robust finding generalizable to all ethnic groups. Finally, relationally aggressive children were reported to be as well-adjusted as their non-relationally aggressive peers, which is not consistent with previous research. Regardless of aggression status, Hispanic children exhibited higher levels of delinquent behavior and anxiety/depression compared to Caucasian children. Findings are discussed in terms of measurement issues and within a cultural context. The limitations of the current study and directions for future research are presented.

Creator(s): Long, Melissa M.
Creation Date: August 2003
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: August 2003
  • Digitized: August 26, 2003
Description:

Given the paucity of research that has been conducted on aggression in girls (see Keenan, Loeber, & Green, 1999, for a review), it is important to examine different behavioral manifestations of aggression that may be more prevalent among girls than boys, such as relational aggression (see Crick et al., 1999, for a review). Relational aggression consists of behaviors that harm others through damage to their peer relationships or the threat of such damage (e.g., spreading rumors about a peer so that others will reject him/her, social exclusion; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are a particular subset of youth who are at increased risk for exhibiting aggressive behavior (Henker & Whalen, 1999; Whalen & Henker, 1985). The purpose of the present study was to assess the prevalence of relational aggression among children with attention problems as compared to the general population. Gender differences in relational aggression were also examined. In the current study, participants included 91 3rd-5th grade public school students. Teacher ratings of aggressive behavior and attention problems were obtained. Parents also completed measures to assess attention problems and social-psychological adjustment. Contrary to prediction, results indicated children with attention problems were not more aggressive than children without attention problems, regardless of the type of aggressive behavior assessed (i.e., relational or overt aggression). With respect to gender differences in relational aggression, results indicate the well-known gender effect for relational aggression only applies to Caucasian students in this sample, as a gender effect for relational aggression was not obtained for Hispanic students. Thus, the gender effect for relational aggression should not be considered a robust finding generalizable to all ethnic groups. Finally, relationally aggressive children were reported to be as well-adjusted as their non-relationally aggressive peers, which is not consistent with previous research. Regardless of aggression status, Hispanic children exhibited higher levels of delinquent behavior and anxiety/depression compared to Caucasian children. Findings are discussed in terms of measurement issues and within a cultural context. The limitations of the current study and directions for future research are presented.

Degree:
Level: Doctoral
Discipline: Psychology
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): Aggression | relational aggression | overt aggression | gender differences in aggression
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • OCLC: 53820159 |
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc4257
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Use restricted to UNT Community
License: Copyright
Holder: Long, Melissa M.
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.