Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

ERIC DAHLEN, PH.D.

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

EMILY BULLOCK YOWELL, PH.D.

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

MICHAEL B. MADSON, PH.D.

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

RICHARD MOHN, PH.D.

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Research and Administration

Abstract

Relational aggression has been associated with a host of negative correlates in previous studies of children, adolescents, and emerging adults. Further research is necessary for the purposes of identifying prevention and intervention strategies; however, research on relational aggression among emerging adults has been complicated by the lack of available psychometrically sound measures, particularly those that capture the proactive and reactive functions of relational aggression. The present study extended previous efforts to develop a new self-report measure of relational aggression for emerging adults called the Young Adult Relational Aggression Scale (YARAS). A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed using a sample of 402 college students. The predicted four-factor model of the YARAS was supported, though model re-specification was necessary to achieve adequate model fit. Adequate internal consistency was found for all scales. Evidence in support of convergent and discriminant validity was obtained through correlations of the YARAS scales with measures of theoretically related (i.e., alcohol-related problems, internalizing problems, psychopathy, and loneliness) and distinct constructs (e.g., physical aggression). The extent to which the YARAS adequately discriminates the reactive and proactive functions of aggression warrants additional study. Future directions for the development of the YARAS are discussed.

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