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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Roger Katz

First Committee Member

Gary Howells

Second Committee Member

Kenneth Beauchamp


Few, if any, researchers have investigated the relationship between eye contact and aggression or hostility in aggressive, incarcerated adolescents where eye contact may induce hostility or where aggression would seem most prevalent because aggressive youth may be more provoked by ambiguous provocation stimuli (eye contact). Therefore, this study investigated possible differences in the interpretation of staring between incarcerated aggressive and nonincarcerated nonaggressive adolescents. Aggressive adolescents were selected from a juvenile justice center in California, while nonaggressive adolescents were recruited from a high school. Following tile lines of the hostile attributional bias theory (Dodge & Coie, 1987), three predictions were made. Compared to nonaggressive youth, aggressive youth would be more likely to: (a) attribute hostile intent to someone who stared at them; (b) expect to act aggressively if confronted by someone who stared at them, especially when the staring person does something unpleasant in which the intent is ambiguous; and (c) rate someone with direct eye contact higher on potency. To manipulate eye positions, the researcher utilized photographs, which the adolescents rated to test the above three predictions. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)




9780599689176 , 059968917X

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