Adolescent Female Aggression: Measurement, Relational Risk and Promotive Factors, and Risk Pathways Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Cotter, Katie
    • Affiliation: School of Social Work
  • Despite evidence of increasing prevalence of adolescent female aggression (Puzzanchera, Adams, & Hockenberry, 2012), much of the extant research on aggression has focused on all-male or mostly-male samples. Particularly lacking in the current literature is an understanding of the extent to which measures of aggressive/violent behavior function equivalently across genders and the identification of female-specific risk factors for aggression. The following three-paper dissertation addresses these issues. The first paper examines the measurement invariance of the Violent Behavior Checklist-Modified across genders and race/ethnicities. Using multiple group confirmatory factor analysis, configural and metric invariance are assessed in a sample of racially/ethnically diverse middle and high school students (N=4,128) in two rural counties. Results indicated that the Violent Behavior Checklist-Modified had partial measurement invariance across genders and race/ethnicities. Findings suggest that the latent factor of violence may be qualitatively different across males and females. The second paper uses relational cultural and social role theories as a framework for exploring relational risk and promotive factors associated with adolescent female aggression. A two level hierarchical linear model (HLM) was estimated using four waves of data on an ethnically diverse sample of female adolescents. Teacher support was identified as a significant promotive factor against adolescent female aggression. In addition to internalizing symptoms, results revealed that association with delinquent friends and peer pressure were salient risk factors for adolescent female aggression. The third paper examines risk pathways between relational risk factors and direct and indirect aggression for male and female adolescents. Using multiple group structural equation modeling, internalizing symptoms was tested as a mediator of the relationship between relational risk factors and aggression. Results indicated that internalizing symptoms played a mediating role for two out of three relational risk factors for both male and female adolescents. Implications of the central role of internalizing symptoms as a risk factor for aggression were highlighted.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Bowen, Gary
  • Bacallao, Martica
  • Smokowski, Paul
  • Lippold, Melissa
  • Guo, Shenyang
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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