Explicit beliefs about aggression, implicit knowledge structures, and teen dating violence

Ernest N. Jouriles, David Rosenfield, Renee McDonald, Anne L. Kleinsasser, M. Catherine Dodson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined whether explicit beliefs justifying aggression and implicit knowledge structures theorized to facilitate aggression both contributed to between-subjects differences in teen dating violence (TDV). In addition, this research examined the contribution of explicit and implicit cognitions in the prediction of within-subjects changes in TDV over a 6-month period. Participants were 147 14- to 17-year-olds (48 % female) recruited from courts and agencies providing services to adolescents in trouble because of antisocial behavior. Teens completed a measure of explicit beliefs justifying aggression, a speeded word-completion task designed to measure aggressive content in implicit knowledge structures, and a measure of TDV. Measures were completed at 3 assessments, spaced 3 months apart. Results indicated that explicit beliefs justifying aggression and implicit knowledge structures theorized to facilitate aggression both contributed independently to between-subjects differences in TDV. However, only explicit beliefs about aggression were associated with within-subjects changes in TDV over the 6-month study period. These findings highlight the importance of considering both explicit and implicit cognitions in attempting to understand the perpetration of TDV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-799
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

Keywords

  • Attitudes about aggression
  • Implicit cognition
  • Knowledge structures
  • Teen dating violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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