Neighborhood and family effects on trajectories of physical and social aggression during adolescence: three studies using multilevel growth curve modeling Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
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  • Karriker-Jaffe, Katherine Joan
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
Abstract
  • This dissertation employed multilevel growth curve models to examine the development of physical and social aggression during adolescence and assessed neighborhood- and family-level predictors of the developmental trajectories. The first study showed that perpetration of physical and social aggression followed curvilinear trajectories between ages 11 and 18, with increases in each type of aggression followed by declines. Girls had significantly lower initial levels of physical aggression than boys. Sex did not impact rates of change of physical aggression, and boys consistently perpetrated more physical aggression than girls did. There were no sex differences in the initial levels or rates of change of social aggression. The second study found that the effects of neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage and social disorganization on aggression trajectories were best described by direct effects models, rather than the hypothesized moderation models. For girls, neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage was positively associated with initial levels of physical aggression. There were no significant main effects of the neighborhood variables on social aggression for girls, and for boys, there were no significant main effects of the neighborhood variables for either type of aggression. There was evidence suggesting confounding of the effects of disadvantage and disorganization when predicting physical aggression. The third study revealed that family factors did not moderate the relationship between neighborhood risk and the aggression trajectories as hypothesized. For boys, more family conflict and less parental control were associated with higher initial levels of physical aggression, and more family conflict, less parent-child bonding and less parental control were associated with higher initial levels of social aggression. For girls, more neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage, more family conflict, less parent-child bonding and less parental control were associated with higher initial levels of physical aggression, and more family conflict and less parent-child bonding were associated with higher initial levels of social aggression. Family conflict also influenced the linear slopes of the girls' physical aggression trajectories and the linear slopes of the social aggression trajectories for both boys and girls. All significant predictors impacted initial levels of aggression, which suggests that early prevention programs are needed to reduce perpetration of aggression during adolescence.
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  • Foshee, Vangie
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