Author(s)

Lindsay Hendricks

Date Approved

6-30-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology-Professional School Psychology

Department

Educational Services, Administration, and Higher Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Allen, Terri

Subject(s)

Aggressiveness;Urban youth;Sex differences

Disciplines

Child Psychology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine whether individual factors, including culture, hometown region, and gender, would affect the likelihood of a person perceiving and justifying an aggressive act. Previous literature explored the differences between distinctive cultural subtypes, hometown regions, and gender on the acceptance of expressing aggression. Hypotheses were established to examine the perception, justification, and endorsement of aggression in a northern setting with college-aged participants. Participants were asked to watch clips from six modern American movies. After each clip, participants answered seven questions based on their perceptions. Six univariate Analysis of Variances (ANOVAs) were conducted to address the hypotheses. With three exceptions, significance was not supported in the results. Participants from urban hometowns were less likely to perceive aggression in the acts and to rate them as aggressive. This suggested a potential normalized perception of aggression for individuals raised urban hometowns. Males were more likely than females to feel the act was justified and to commit the same act if in the situation, similar to previous literature. The results were interpreted taking into account potential limitations. Future directions and implications of factors influencing aggression in American society are discussed.

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