Individual, Family, and Community Education ETDs


John Salaz

Publication Date



Human aggression is a frequently studied aspect of human behavior. Although great strides have been made not one single theory can fully explain the complexity of aggression. The Social Information Processing model of aggression (Crick and Dodge, 1994) has served as a useful tool to examine differences amongst individuals. This model considers mechanisms through which every individual processes social information, ultimately leading towards behavior. This study examined adolescent aggression through the Social Information Processing model. Participants consisted of 149 male and female students from a large urban school district in southwestern United States. Each participant was assessed with measures of attribution intent, quality of knowledge structures, and reactive-proactive aggression. Correlational analyses revealed significant correlations between attribution intent and aggression, attribution intent and hostile knowledge structures, and attribution intent and proactive aggression. Between group analyses revealed a significant difference between genders on the proactive subscale of aggression only. Between group comparisons failed to reveal gender differences of attribution intent, quality of knowledge structures, proactive-reactive aggression combined, and reactive aggression. Between group comparisons also failed to reveal grade level differences between middle and high school participants on attribution intent, quality of knowledge structures, aggression proactive-reactive combined, proactive subscale and reactive subscale of aggression. Results from this study are consistent with pervious research linking attribution intent and aggression. Findings from this study also support findings that the quality of ones knowledge structures may greatly influence social information processing. Contrary to previous studies, this study failed to support the belief that reactive aggression is specificity related to attribution intent. This study failed to reveal a significant correlation between attribution intent and the reactive aggression subtype. Gender analyses from this study revealed differences between males and females on the proactive subscale of aggression only. Although this study is consistent with previous studies regarding attribution intent and the impact knowledge structures play during information processing, there does remain findings which require further examination. Findings from this study are in contradiction with previous studies regarding attribution intent and reactive aggression. Gender differences may also be examined in future studies due to the ambiguous findings in this study.'


Decision making in adolescence, Aggressiveness in adolescence

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Psychology

Level of Degree


Department Name

Individual, Family, and Community Education

First Advisor

Flowerday, Terri

First Committee Member (Chair)

Parkes, Jay

Second Committee Member

Armstrong, Jan

Third Committee Member

Keim, Jean