Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1314-9851

Defense Date

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Albert D. Farrell, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Shelby McDonald, Ph.D.

Abstract

Both theory and empirical evidence support the existence of “aggressive-victims,” a subgroup of youth who have been found to experience the negative outcomes associated with being an aggressor and being a victim. It remains unclear, however, if aggressive-victims possess risk factors that are unique from youth who are either aggressive or victimized. The present study sought to: (a) identify subgroups of seventh grade adolescents who differ in their patterns of aggression and victimization, (b) determine the number and structure of subgroups differ by school or sex, and (c) investigate whether aggressive-victims differ from all other subgroups in their social and emotional functioning. Secondary analyses were conducted on baseline data from 984 seventh grade adolescents participating in a randomized controlled trial evaluating an expressive writing intervention. Latent class analysis identified four subgroups of adolescents representing predominant-aggressors, predominant-victims, aggressive-victims, and youth with limited involvement. This pattern was consistent across sex and across schools that differed in the demographics of the adolescents. The findings indicate that aggressive victims are highly similar to predominant-aggressors and do not possess any unique characteristics beyond their pattern of involvement in both aggression and victimization. Further evidence of unique differences in risk factors is needed to support prevention and intervention efforts that are tailored to meet the specific needs of aggressive-victims. Future research should consider addressing methodological limitations of the present study, such as by examining continuous indicators, including additional indices of social and emotional functioning, or investigating differential item functioning.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

12-3-2018

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