Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Developmental Psychology



Major Professor

Dr. Monica Marsee, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Frick, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Laird, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Michelle Martel, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Carl Weems, Ph.D.


Research on factors that contribute to the forms and functions of aggression (reactive, proactive, relational, and overt) is important for informing intervention efforts with aggressive youth. Previous research shows that aggressive youth often have cognitive and social deficits associated with their aggressive behavior. For example, aggressive youth may exhibit deficits in social variables such as social intelligence (i.e., the understanding of behaviors of people and ability to predict outcomes of situations). Hypothetically, this lack of social intelligence may be related to how youth interpret social situations, and could conceivably lead to hostile attributional bias, or the tendency to interpret ambiguous stimuli as hostile. The main purpose of this study was to examine whether HAB mediated the relationship between social intelligence and reactive relational aggression in a sample of detained adolescent boys (ages 12-18). The results failed to support this hypothesis. Supplemental analyses explored whether HAB moderated the relationship between social intelligence and the subtypes of aggression, but results were not consistent with this hypothesis.


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