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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Psychophysiological measures of aggression and victimization in early adolescence
by Aults, Christopher, M.A., Florida Atlantic University, 2012, 93; 1522075
Abstract (Summary)

Many cardiovascular psychophysiological studies have found evidence of lower arousal states in aggressive individuals and hyper-arousal states in individuals exposed to chronic stress. However, most of these studies have relied on clinical diagnoses or self-reports to identify aggressive and victimized individuals. The present study used peer nominations to identify aggressive, victimized, and non-aggressive or victimized adolescents (mean age = 12.09 yrs.) to examine if any psychophysiological differences exist during resting and startle conditions. ANOVAs revealed that high aggressive/low victimized adolescents had a lower resting heart period/rate compared to high victimized/low aggressive adolescents. Further analyses revealed a statistical trend of lower resting heart period variability in high victimized/low aggressive individuals compared to non-aggressive non-victimized controls. Due to evidence suggesting that individuals with high self-reported empathy display less aggression, empathy as a moderator for aggression was investigated. Although gender differences were found across measures, empathy was not found to moderate aggression.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jones, Nancy
Commitee: Bjorklund, David, Perry, David
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: MAI 51/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Developmental psychology, Physiological psychology
Publication Number: 1522075
ISBN: 978-1-267-94830-4
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