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Aggression, victimization, and social prominence in early adolescent girls and boys

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Although aggression is sometimes thought to be maladaptive, evolutionary theories of resource control and dominance posit that aggression may be used to gain and maintain high social prominence within the

Although aggression is sometimes thought to be maladaptive, evolutionary theories of resource control and dominance posit that aggression may be used to gain and maintain high social prominence within the peer group. The success of using aggression to increase social prominence may depend on the form of aggression used (relational versus physical), the gender of the aggressor, and the prominence of the victim. Thus, the current study examined the associations between aggression and victimization and social prominence. In addition, the current study extended previous research by examining multiple forms of aggression and victimization and conceptualizing and measuring social prominence using social network analysis. Participants were 339 6th grade students from ethnically diverse backgrounds (50.4% girls). Participants completed a peer nomination measure assessing relational and physical aggression and victimization. They also nominated friends within their grade, which were used to calculate three indices of social prominence, using social network analysis. As expected, results indicated that relational aggression was associated with higher social prominence, particularly for girls, whereas physical aggression was less robustly associated with social prominence. Results for victimization were less clear, but suggested that, for girls, those at mid-levels of social prominence were most highly victimized. For boys, results indicated that those both high and low in prominence were most highly relationally victimized, and those at mid-levels of prominence were most highly physically victimized. These findings help inform intervention work focused on decreasing overall levels of aggressive behavior.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Developmental pathways to antisocial behavior in early-adolescence: examining changes in aggression and peer exclusion through childhood

Description

This study examined the influence of childhood aggression, peer exclusion and associating with deviant peers on the development of antisocial behavior in early adolescence. To gain a stronger understanding of

This study examined the influence of childhood aggression, peer exclusion and associating with deviant peers on the development of antisocial behavior in early adolescence. To gain a stronger understanding of how these factors are associated with antisocial behavior and delinquency, multiple alternative pathways were examined based on additive, mediation and incidental models. A parallel process growth model was specified to assess whether early childhood aggression and peer exclusion (in 1st grade) and intra-individual increases in aggressive behaviors and exclusion through childhood (grades 1 to 6) are predictive of associating with deviant peers (in 7th grade) and antisocial behavior (in 8th grade). Based on a sample of 383 children (193 girls and 190 boys), results showed the strongest support for an additive effects model in which early childhood aggression, increases in aggression, increases in peer exclusion and associating with more deviant peers all predicted antisocial behavior. These findings have implications for how children's psychological adjustment is impacted by their behavioral propensities and peer relational context and the importance of examining developmental processes within and between children over time.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011