Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 2005

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Steven Duvall

Abstract

Developmental theory often purports that human development occurs in well-defined, incremental and predictable patterns. The purpose of this study was to examine adolescent aggression in light of developmental theory and to look at whether relational aggression was the preferred and frequent method of aggression for adolescent females, particularly in comparison to their male counterparts. Research was conducted using 39 female and 52 male students from a small, Midwestern, public, junior high school. Each of the 91 participants completed a peer aggression survey compiled by the author. The study hypothesized that middle school females would be more aware than males of relationally aggressive actions; that middle school females would be more frequently actually use covert actions as a form of relational aggression; that middle school females’ perception would be different from that of males’ perception regarding how males and females aggress toward each other; and that a stronger sense of self as agent would be negatively correlated with tendencies of any form of aggression, but boys seemed to use relational aggression in equal amounts. In addition, females would be expected to show anger through covert aggression more frequently than males. Each gender also recognized relational aggression in their own gender more frequently than members of the other gender. No correlation between sense of self and tendency to aggress in any form was found.

Rights

Copyright 2005 Jeannine S. Bergsma

Comments

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