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Association Between Overt and Relational Aggression and Psychosocial Adjustment in Undergraduate College Students

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This study examined the relations between overt and relational aggression, social anxiety, loneliness, depressive symptoms, and alcohol and drug use in a sample of 287 undergraduate college students. Consistent with prior work, men reported engaging in more overt aggression than women. Contrary to our predictions, men also reported engaging in more relational aggression than women. Results also indicated that overt and relational aggression were positively associated with social anxiety, loneliness, depressive symptoms, alcohol use, and drug use for the overall sample. Hierarchical regression analyses showed positive relations between overt aggression and alcohol use for men and no relations between relational aggression and any psychosocial adjustment index. For women, overt aggression uniquely predicted social anxiety, loneliness, and depressive symptoms, whereas relational aggression uniquely predicted social anxiety, loneliness, depression, and alcohol and drug problems. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of the role of peer aggression in students' psychosocial adjustment.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2004

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2014 Impact Factor is 0.858.
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