Cognitive Predictors of Aggression among School-Going Adolescents: A Preliminary Investigation
Keywords:Aggression, Cognitive Control, Normative Beliefs About Aggression, Effortful Control, School, India
AbstractIn recent times, aggressive outbursts have been on the rise in schools in India. Adolescence, a period of volatile emotional expressions, is associated with more aggressive behavior and inadequate self-regulation. Recent social cognitive theorists have conceptualized aggressive behavior as a dynamic interaction between latent social knowledge structures, like normative beliefs, and cognitive capacities for self-regulation. However, very few studies have explored the role of these constructs together in adolescent aggression. Therefore, the present study aims to explore the role of cognitive control, normative beliefs about aggression, and effortful control as predictors of aggression. The study sample comprised 235 school-going adolescents of both genders in the age range of 15-19 years, recruited from schools via convenience sampling method. The data was collected using self-report questionnaires. The data was analyzed using SPSS 23.0. Multiple regression analysis of data revealed a significant negative contribution of cognitive control and a positive contribution of normative beliefs in aggression (β = -0.36, p 1lt; .001 ; 0.25, p 1lt; .001 respectively). This study thus highlights the need for targeting specific information-processing errors and cognitive regulatory processes that are strong determinants of aggression. Considering adolescents as the major workforce of the nation, identification of risk and introduction of interventions in schools would benefit their healthier tomorrow.
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