Aggression in Children
Mentor:Enrique Ortega , Professor of Health Sciences , Cal State Dominguez Hills
The majority of findings from studies that have investigated the role of aggression and conflict in childhood social relationships have come from North American and northern European populations. While these findings are of great value to the field, there is a need to investigate such matters in diverse populations; this can help investigators determine if there are particular associations of aggression to social relationship indicators that are more culturally determined than others. In this study we explored potential correlational associations between aggression, social conflicts, and emotional instability among a sample of Italian adolescents. We expected to find aggression positively correlate with number of social conflicts and greater emotional instability. The sample consisted of 334 Italian middle school adolescents (52% female), ages 8-10 years (mean age = 9.38 (S.D. = 1.4)). The participants were representative of the population of adolescents attending high school in this part of Italy. This investigation employed secondary analysis investigative methods. Bivariate correlations were used to explore the associations of among our variables of interest. Results indicated that aggressive behaviors were positively correlated with higher number of conflicts in a relationship. Likewise greater indications of aggression behaviors were positively correlated with higher levels of emotional instability. Higher indications of emotional instability were found to be associated to higher number of conflicts in the relationship. These correlation results showed that the associations of aggression with related social relationship indicators that have been commonly found in the literature might be replicated in a population of Italian adolescents. Findings such as these can help prevention scientists identify important universal determinants of positive social relationship to develop positive social cohesion in school settings.