Investigating correlates of aggressive behaviour in South African children and young adolescents living in the Western Cape: the role of empathy

 

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Malcolm-Smith, Susan en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Decety, Jean en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Pileggi, Lea-Ann en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2018-04-24T13:59:58Z
dc.date.available 2018-04-24T13:59:58Z
dc.date.issued 2018 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Pileggi, L. 2018. Investigating correlates of aggressive behaviour in South African children and young adolescents living in the Western Cape: the role of empathy. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27849
dc.description.abstract Escalating rates of aggression in South African schools, particularly in the Western Cape, are disconcerting. The early childhood through adolescent years is therefore an important platform for investigations to inform strategies to reduce and prevent aggressive behaviour. Studies conducted outside of South Africa have identified numerous correlates of aggressive behaviour; investigation in South Africa has, however, been sparse. The role of empathy, in specific, has been limited to one prior investigation. Furthermore, while empathy is considered an important construct in explanations of aggressive behaviour internationally, theoretical and methodological issues have undermined findings to date. Our understanding of the relationship between empathy and aggressive behaviour needs refining. I investigated the role of empathy, while simultaneously investigating the role of several known correlates of empathy and aggressive behaviour in typically developing young adolescents (N = 160, ages 11-13; Study 1) and children (N = 76, ages 6-8; Study 2) living in the Western Cape of South Africa. To improve on previous investigations, I employed a framework informed by both neurobiological and behavioural approaches. I conceptualised empathy as comprising affective and cognitive components, as well as a self-regulation component concerned with regulation of affective states. Employing a contextual approach, I argued that the interaction between these empathy components along with multiple contextual factors would provide a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between empathy and aggressive behaviour. I used hierarchical regression and structural equation models to investigate the correlates of aggressive behaviour. Empathy was significantly correlated with Aggressive Behaviour in young adolescents, but not in children. Furthermore, as expected, contextual factors were also significantly correlated with Aggressive Behaviour: Household Income, Parenting Style, and Parent Empathy were correlated with Aggressive Behaviour in young adolescents, while among the measures taken only Parenting Style was correlated with Aggressive Behaviour in children. Future investigations should, as in the current dissertation, work towards articulating the complex web of relationships between correlates of aggressive behaviour and their changes across development. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Applied Cognitive Science en_ZA
dc.subject.other Experimental Neuropsychology en_ZA
dc.title Investigating correlates of aggressive behaviour in South African children and young adolescents living in the Western Cape: the role of empathy en_ZA
dc.type Doctoral Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Psychology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Pileggi, L. (2018). <i>Investigating correlates of aggressive behaviour in South African children and young adolescents living in the Western Cape: the role of empathy</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Psychology. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27849 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Pileggi, Lea-Ann. <i>"Investigating correlates of aggressive behaviour in South African children and young adolescents living in the Western Cape: the role of empathy."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Psychology, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27849 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Pileggi L. Investigating correlates of aggressive behaviour in South African children and young adolescents living in the Western Cape: the role of empathy. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of Psychology, 2018 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27849 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Pileggi, Lea-Ann AB - Escalating rates of aggression in South African schools, particularly in the Western Cape, are disconcerting. The early childhood through adolescent years is therefore an important platform for investigations to inform strategies to reduce and prevent aggressive behaviour. Studies conducted outside of South Africa have identified numerous correlates of aggressive behaviour; investigation in South Africa has, however, been sparse. The role of empathy, in specific, has been limited to one prior investigation. Furthermore, while empathy is considered an important construct in explanations of aggressive behaviour internationally, theoretical and methodological issues have undermined findings to date. Our understanding of the relationship between empathy and aggressive behaviour needs refining. I investigated the role of empathy, while simultaneously investigating the role of several known correlates of empathy and aggressive behaviour in typically developing young adolescents (N = 160, ages 11-13; Study 1) and children (N = 76, ages 6-8; Study 2) living in the Western Cape of South Africa. To improve on previous investigations, I employed a framework informed by both neurobiological and behavioural approaches. I conceptualised empathy as comprising affective and cognitive components, as well as a self-regulation component concerned with regulation of affective states. Employing a contextual approach, I argued that the interaction between these empathy components along with multiple contextual factors would provide a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between empathy and aggressive behaviour. I used hierarchical regression and structural equation models to investigate the correlates of aggressive behaviour. Empathy was significantly correlated with Aggressive Behaviour in young adolescents, but not in children. Furthermore, as expected, contextual factors were also significantly correlated with Aggressive Behaviour: Household Income, Parenting Style, and Parent Empathy were correlated with Aggressive Behaviour in young adolescents, while among the measures taken only Parenting Style was correlated with Aggressive Behaviour in children. Future investigations should, as in the current dissertation, work towards articulating the complex web of relationships between correlates of aggressive behaviour and their changes across development. DA - 2018 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2018 T1 - Investigating correlates of aggressive behaviour in South African children and young adolescents living in the Western Cape: the role of empathy TI - Investigating correlates of aggressive behaviour in South African children and young adolescents living in the Western Cape: the role of empathy UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/27849 ER - en_ZA


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record