Date of Award

Fall 12-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Eric Dahlen

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. James Johnson

Committee Member 3

Dr. Bonnie C. Nicholson

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 4

Dr. Emily Yowell

Committee Member 4 Department

Psychology

Abstract

Aggressive behavior is a serious public health concern that has resulted in several problems in contemporary society. Despite a considerable body of literature on human aggression, both popular and scientific, a focus on overt physical aggression has obscured other forms of aggression. As a result, considerably less is known about other, more subtle forms of aggression, such as relational aggression. Moreover, research on relational aggression, particularly among older adolescents and adults, has been hindered by the lack of psychometrically sound measures. Research in this area would be enhanced by the availability of such a measure, facilitating comparison of data across studies and reducing ambiguity over definitions of relational aggression and similar constructs.

The present study involved a psychometric evaluation of the Young Adult Behavior Scale (YASB; Crothers, Schreiber, Field, & Kolbert, 2008), a self-report measure of relational aggression. College student volunteers completed the YASB and several other measures of similar and dissimilar constructs selected to evaluate construct validity. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the proposed 3-factor structure, which was confirmed in two separate analyses. The three subscales were internally consistent, and evidence of construct validity and concurrent criterion validity was provided. The clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.