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Title:Relational Aggression, Overt Aggression, and Family Relationships
Author(s):Grotpeter, Jennifer Kathleen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Nicki R. Crick
Department / Program:Human Resources and Family Studies
Discipline:Human Resources and Family Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Abstract:Many researchers have sought to increase understanding of childhood aggression through the study of the relation between characteristics of family relationships and children's (mainly boys') use of physical aggression in the peer group. This study is a first step toward examining processes in the family relationships (parent-child relationship, the interparental relationship) of relationally aggressive children in addition to those of traditionally studied overtly aggressive children. An extreme-group sample of 120 children (i.e., nonaggressive, relationally aggressive, overtly aggressive, and both relationally and overtly aggressive), their female caregivers, and 34 of their male caregivers, completed instruments during interviews in the family home. The instruments, guided by theories such as Social Learning Theory, Coercion Theory, and the Cognitive-Contextual Framework, were designed to gain information from the children's and caregivers' perspectives about characteristics (e.g., aggression, conflict, warmth) of the parent-child relationship and the interparental relationship. Results for the families of overtly aggressive children compared to nonovertly aggressive children were consistent with past research, indicating aggression and low warmth within the parent-child relationship and aggression and conflict within the interparental relationship. Results for the families of relationally aggressive children compared to their nonrelationally aggressive peers indicated similar findings, such as female caregiver use of relational aggression toward the child and difficulty in conflict resolution, but also a number of qualitatively different findings, such as self-blame for interparental conflict and greater caregiver desire for exclusivity with the child. Results provide initial evidence for the importance of studying the family relationships of relationally aggressive children, and highlight the importance of exploring the possibility of somewhat differential etiologies of these two forms of aggression.
Issue Date:1997
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:187 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/87812
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9812603
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1997


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