Human Development Focusing On Aggression among Adolescents

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Aggression among Adolescents � PAGE �13�


Human Development Focusing On Aggression among Adolescents


Human Development Focusing On Aggression among Adolescents

During the last 10 to 15 years, researchers have distinguished between reactive and proactive subtypes of aggression (Day, Bream, & Pal, 1992; Dodge & Cole, 1987; Dodge, Price, Bachorowski, & Newman, 1990). Proactive aggression is instrumental or deliberately goal-directed and occurs without provocation. Reactive aggression, on the other hand, occurs in response to a perceived provocation or threat and seems to serve a defensive function, although the response may be out of proportion to the threat.

Studies examining the relations of social cognitive patterns to reactive and proactive aggression have supported the validity of the distinction between the two types of aggression and have suggested possible intervention strategies. Reactive aggression, compared to proactive aggression, is more strongly associated with a bias toward attributing hostile intent to others (Dodge & Cole, 1987; Dodge et al.,

1990). In contrast, speculation about a social cognitive process associated with proactive aggression has focused on human development for aggression (Dodge & Coie, 1987).

Although early investigators of gender differences in aggression questioned whether the consequences of the less direct behaviors are serious enough for these behaviors to warrant inclusion in the category of aggression), more recent research suggests that children feel harmed by indirect aggression, especially girls. Galen and Underwood (1997) presented fourth, seventh, and tenth grade boys and girls with several vignettes depicting either physical or social aggression between same-gender dyads. Girls viewed social aggression as equally hurtful as physical aggression, and girls rated the socially aggressive acts as significantly more hurtful than boys. In another recent study, Crick et al. (1996) asked third through sixth graders "What do most boys/girls do when...