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Physical and relational aggression and victimization among children : the role of familial and individual factors

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Physical and relational aggression and victimization among children : the role of familial and individual factors

Bartlett, Nancy (2002) Physical and relational aggression and victimization among children : the role of familial and individual factors. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The overarching aim of this study was to answer the question of why boys and girls might engage in different forms of aggression and victimization. To this end, there were four major goals: (a) to determine the most parsimonious system of conceptualising forms of aggression and victimization to examine; (b) sex differences in relational and physical aggression and victimization; (c) family and individual factors related to dominance and aggression/victimization; and (d) the association between aggression and victimization. Individual factors were within four domains: peer dominance status, self-discrepancy, self-efficacy, and social importance. Participants were 367 5 th and 6 th grade, English-speaking boys and girls in suburban Montreal, Quebec. Peer-ratings of aggression and victimization as well as dominance were obtained, and participants rated their parents on dimensions of involvement and supervision. Self-ratings were obtained for actual, ideal, and ought selves regarding dominance-related characteristics; self-efficacy for aggression, conflict, and non-conflict situations, as well as outcome expectancies for aggression; and social importance for male and female dominance-related characteristics. Results showed that, using Confirmatory Factor Analysis, two separate factors (physical and relational) emerged for aggression and victimization. Boys were rated as using more physical, and girls more relational aggression (after controlling for physical aggression). Boys received higher ratings on physical victimization (when they were also aggressive). The major findings related to the remaining goals were that the association between parenting and dominance differed for boys and girls; dominance was negatively predictive of physical, and positively predictive of relational aggression for girls; dominance was negatively predictive of victimization; actual-ideal discrepancy for male dominance-related characteristics was predictive of physical victimization for boys; self-efficacy for conflict situations was negatively related to relational and positively related to physical aggression for girls; social importance for female dominance-related characteristics was negatively predictive of physical and positively predictive of relational aggression, and; victimization was more strongly related to aggression for girls. The results of this study may help to clarify the confusion about how to conceptualise different forms of aggression. In addition, it adds to the literature on sex differences in types of aggression by attempting to empirically test the reasons for girls' and boys' use of different aggressive strategies and elucidating some of the factors that are differentially predictive of aggression and victimization for boys and girls.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Bartlett, Nancy
Pagination:xvi, 239 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Psychology
Date:2002
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bukowski, William M
ID Code:1905
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:23
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:23
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