A Multi-Trait Multi-Method Analysis of Self- and Other-Directed Aggressive Behaviors


B. Lee Hudson

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Mitchell E. Berman

Advisor Department



A recently developed experimental analogue of self-aggressive behavior (the SAP) has yielded promise in serving as a laboratory behavioral measure of self-aggression. However, initial studies have yielded somewhat inconsistent evidence of convergent validity. To date, no study has systematically evaluated the construct validity of this behavioral paradigm. The purpose of the present study was to systematically evaluate the construct validity of the SAP. To this end, 189 participants (127 women and 62 men) completed two separate behavioral tasks measuring other-directed and self-directed aggressive behaviors and completed self-report measures of self-directed and other-directed aggression. The proposed CFA-MTMM analysis model did not provide evidence to support the construct validity of the SAP. Several data and methodological issues restricted these findings. Problems included: low endorsement rates on self-report measures of self-aggressive behaviors, and limited sample size. Excessive skew and kurtosis on the self-report self-directed aggression measures and on the behavioral measure of extreme self-directed aggression made data transformations necessary to meet the assumptions of multivariate data analysis. Accordingly, non-parametric statistical techniques were used to further evaluate the relation between self-report and behavioral measures. Non-parametric, one-tailed, statistical analyses revealed that self-report and behavioral measures of self-directed aggression were significantly correlated. Self-report measures of self-directed aggressive behavior were not significantly related to behavioral measures of other-directed aggression; however, self-report measures of other-directed aggression were significantly correlated with behavioral measures of self-directed aggression. Behavioral measures of self- and other-directed aggression were significantly correlated. The SAP has been subject to several criticisms. Critics suggest the SAP taps an overall propensity to aggress or other traits, such as risk taking. The present findings were used to address these criticisms and suggestions were made for further research.