Aggression amongst children in residential institutions – its incidence, sources and expression

Abstract :

The concept of aggression is investigated and distinguished from such other concepts as anger, hostility, assertiveness and anti-social behaviour, in order to reach an adequate operational definition of the dependent variable of the research. The factors which arouse aggression, and which facilitate or inhibit its expression, are studied, as are the intra-personal dynamics which play a role in the mediation of aggression, particularly that of ego development and integration. The institutional experience is then studied in some detail, and several factors in this experience are isolated which may have a potential for arousing aggressiveness in children, or facilitating its expression. In similar detail, factors in the pre-institutional experience of such children, specifically separation and deprivation, are studied for their aggression-arousing potential. Brief consideration is give to some sequelae of these experiences, such as depressed intellectual functioning and academic performance, which may form part of an on-going constellation of frustrating experiences in the lives of these children, and so themselves have an aggressive potential. The development of the school pupil’s questionnaire on aggression (SPQA) and the teacher’s questionnaire on aggression (TQA), together with the validity and reliability studies for these instruments, in described. In the research element of the thesis, 95 children, aged from ten to eighteen years, completed the SPQA (33 in each of groups a and b, and 29 in group c) while their respective school teachers completed a TQA for each member of the matched trio in their class. The hypothesis that the mean scores of groups a and b on the SPQA and the TQA would differ significantly was supported (p<0,01 and 0,05 respectively). The hypothesis that there would be no significant difference between the mean scores of groups a and c on the two questionnaires was also supported. It was concluded that children in institutions were more aggressive than their own-home counterparts, but not more so than children living in homes broken by divorce, separation or desertion. However, important sex differences were noted in an ex post facto treatment of the results. In girls there was no significant association between aggression and parental divorce or separation, but a highly significant association between aggression and institutionalisation. On the other hand, the boys both in institutions and in broken homes were equally more aggressive, though non-significantly so, than boys in intact homes.   Details

Author Gannon BC
Date Accessioned 2016-09-22T11:49:24Z
Date Available 2016-09-22T11:49:24Z
Date Created 1974
Identifier URL 1978
Language English
Subject Psychology
Subject 2 Psychology
Alternative Title
Degree Type Masters degree
Degree Description  MA