Date of Award

Spring 3-2023

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Nora Charles

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Eric Dahlen

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Freddie Pastrana Rivera

Committee Member 3 School



Youth with antisocial and borderline traits in adolescence have been found more likely to commit violence and experience negative outcomes later in life. There is evidence for gender differences in the manifestations of dysfunctional personality features (antisocial and borderline traits) and functions of aggression, but little research has sought to assess unique gender differences that may help unravel the sequelae of personality dysfunction in youth. Accordingly, this exploratory study examines gender differences in associations between antisocial features, borderline features, and proactive and reactive functions of aggression in a sample of at-risk youth. Four hundred and sixty-four adolescents (Mage = 16.75 years, 84.9% male) participating in a military-style bootcamp for at-risk 16- to 18- year-olds self-reported Antisocial Features (ANT), Borderline Features (BOR), and the forms and functions of aggression. This study contributes to the literature by assessing antisocial features, borderline features, and forms and functions of aggression in this sample of at-risk youth, determining how dysfunctional personality features relate to aggression, and identifying novel gender differences in these constructs and associations among them. These findings may be useful for understanding the experiences of at-risk adolescents and identifying opportunities to disrupt negative outcomes in these youth. Limitations and further directions will be discussed herein.