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Factors Associated with Aggressive Behavior in Rural Elementary and Middle School Students

Funding Agency: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention

Dates: 2000-2001

Staff: Norm Constantine (principal investigator), Kathleen Curry, Marycruz Diaz, Jeannie Huh-Kim

(This study was based at WestEd.) This was a supplement to the Safe Haven evaluation contract for secondary analysis of our longitudinal dataset of 4th through 8th grade student responses to the Safe Haven Student Survey. Four waves of individually linked data collected over two years are being analyzed. In this study a comprehensive theoretical framework is employed to examine the network of relationships over time between verbal and physical aggressive behavior and theoretically-derived measures of beliefs and attitudes, perceived norms, perceived efficacy, behavioral intentions, and concurrent behaviors. This study extends the recent work with an urban middle school sample of Bosworth and colleagues (1999) to our rural middle and elementary school samples; while at the same time incorporating additional theoretically important constructs not previously considered in Bosworth's or other published research. Analyses presented to date have involved middle school students, the first of four waves of data, and assessment of the direct relationships between independent variables and aggressive behavior. Future analyses will: (1) employ more complex structural equation models representing the full conceptual framework; (2) explore relationships across the four waves of linked data collected during the 18 months of the study; and (3) be replicated on our elementary school sub-sample.