Endorsement of traditional male role norms: Investigating the contribution to proactive and reactive aggression in adolescent boys

Matthew Oransky, Fordham University

Abstract

Masculinity researchers have long asserted that endorsement of traditional male role norms contributes to adolescent boys’ aggressive behavior. Indeed, a growing body of interview and ethnographic research has found that adolescent boys’ aggressive behavior is related to their efforts to align themselves with traditional male role norms. Despite these findings, no research has examined whether endorsement of traditional male role norms has unique associations with boys’ aggressive behavior when added to well-established models of the development of adolescent boys aggressive behavior. As such, the goal of this research was to examine whether endorsement of traditional male role norms demonstrated unique associations with aggressive behavior when added to models of the emotional and cognitive correlates of boys’ aggressive behavior. Because distinct developmental models have been supported for adolescents boys’ reactive and proactive aggression, the contribution of endorsement of male role norms to the prediction of reactive and proactive aggression was tested in separate models, one each for these two types of aggressive behavior. Two hundred and thirteen 6th-8 th grade adolescent boys completed measures related to endorsement of traditional male role norms, and reactive and proactive aggression and their cognitive and emotional correlates. Study hypotheses were tested through path analyses. Unexpectedly, results indicated that when included in a developmental predictive model of reactive aggression, endorsement of traditional male role norms demonstrated a negative relationship with reactive aggression. On the other hand, when included in a developmental predictive model of proactive aggression, endorsement of traditional male role norms demonstrated a positive relationship with positive outcome expectations for aggressive behavior, an information processing bias that past research has demonstrated to be closely linked to the commission of proactive aggression. Results support the inclusion of endorsement of traditional male role norms in developmental models of reactive and proactive aggression. Furthermore, future research is warranted to uncover the exact nature and directionality of the relationships found in the present study.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical|Gender Studies

Recommended Citation

Matthew Oransky, "Endorsement of traditional male role norms: Investigating the contribution to proactive and reactive aggression in adolescent boys" (January 1, 2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3495878.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3495878

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