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An Investigation of the Relationship between Self-Esteem and Aggression in Care Leavers

Canning, Amy 2011. An Investigation of the Relationship between Self-Esteem and Aggression in Care Leavers. ClinPsy Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Aggression is a significant problem at an individual and societal level, and has a negative impact on both victims and perpetrators. There is evidence that aggression may be a particular problem for young people who have been in care (‘care leavers’), and this may exacerbate their already high levels of mental health and social needs. Previous research has suggested that self-esteem may play an important role in aggression. However, the nature of this relationship is unclear and the research evidence is inconsistent. It has been proposed that some of the inconsistencies apparent in the existing research are due to the way that self-esteem has been conceptualised and measured. This research aimed to investigate the relationship between a number of different forms of self-esteem and aggression using a cross-sectional survey design. The study used self-report measures and implicit association tests (Greenwald et al., 1998) designed to assess implicit global self-esteem and implicit domains of self-esteem. The relationship between global self-esteem and aggression, domains of self-esteem (social rank, mate value and social inclusion) and aggression and discrepant explicit/implicit self-esteem (calculated by subtracting implicit self-esteem scores from explicit self-esteem scores) and aggression were investigated. When male and female data were analysed together there was a weak positive relationship between social rank and aggression but no other significant relationships. However when male and female data were analysed separately marked gender differences in the relationships between self-esteem and aggression emerged. For women, there were significant inverse correlations between self-reported aggression and three different forms of self-esteem: global self-esteem, social inclusion and discrepant implicit/explicit social inclusion. For men, there were significant positive relationships between self-reported aggression and four different forms of self-esteem: social rank, mate value, discrepant social rank, and discrepant mate value. The methodological, theoretical and clinical implications of this study are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (DClinPsy)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:14

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