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Aggression and conventional rule violation among adolescents: Social-reasoning predictors of social behavior

Aggression and conventional rule violation among adolescents: Social-reasoning predictors of social behavior

Aggressive Behavior 24(5): 347-365

The goal of the current study was to determine whether aggressive and conventional rule-violating behaviors could be predicted by social-cognitive beliefs and values regarding aggression and conventional rule violations. The extent to which adolescents (N = 398; grades 9 through 12) engaged in both aggressive behavior and conventional school rule violations was assessed using self-ratings and peer nominations. Results indicated that aggressive and conventional rule-violating behaviors were predicted by (1) beliefs about the legitimacy of aggressive and convention-violating behavior; (2) values placed on the expected outcomes of these acts, such as negative self-evaluations, peer disapproval, and tangible rewards; and (3) beliefs about the effects of these acts on others. Furthermore, the results indicated that aggressive and conventional transgressions were predicted better by beliefs and values within the same social-cognitive domain than across domains. In contrast to females, mate students committed more aggressive acts and conventional rule violations and reported beliefs and values that were more supportive of aggressive behavior and conventional rule-violating behavior. However, gender differences in beliefs and values were greater for aggressive acts than for conventional acts. The results support the need to distinguish between behavioral domains when attempting to predict social behavior.

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Accession: 008121022

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1002/(sici)1098-2337(1998)24:5<347::aid-ab2>3.0.co;2-e

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