Title page for ETD etd-06032001-115204

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Blier, Heather K.
Author's Email Address hblier@vt.edu
URN etd-06032001-115204
Title Social Likeability, Subtypes of Aggression, and the Attributional Style of Aggressive Youth
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ollendick, Thomas M. Committee Chair
Jones, Russell T. Committee Member
Stephens, Robert S. Committee Member
  • Adolescents
  • Proactive
  • Aggression
  • Reactive
  • Attributional Style
Date of Defense 2001-05-04
Availability unrestricted
Recent efforts to understand and predict the onset and maintenance of aggression have considered the heterogeneity of this behavior. Dodge (1980) and others, have suggested a distinction in aggression based on two primary subtypes: reactive and proactive aggression. The form, severity and persistence of these aggressive subtypes may depend on an on-going interaction between individual characteristics and environmental characteristics that elicit varying antecedents and consequences (Frick, 1998; Lahey et al., 1999). In particular, there exists some empirical support for the existence of relations among social likeability, attributional style, and particular subtypes of aggression symptomology. However, the exact nature of this relation is unclear.

The current study examined two competing models, the mediator and moderator models, to assess the nature of the relations among social likeability, attributional style, and aggression subtypes in a sample of 419 youth in a non-clinical community setting. Results suggest that the external, stable, global attributional style serves to mediate the relation between social likeability and reactive, but not proactive aggression. Implications for assessment and treatment of aggression in adolescents are discussed.

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