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Peer and Family Influences on Adolescent Anger Expression and the
Acceptance of Cross Gender Aggression

By Denise D Quigley, Lisa H Jaycox, Daniel F McCaffrey, Grant N Marshall

This research looks at the impact of family and peer influence in regards to Latino youth dating violence.

  • Major gaps have been found in previous literature regarding dating violence and youth:
    • Previous research largely ignores the issue of whether prior exposure to family violence is more or less important than current family conflict.
    • Research hasn’t investigated the degree to which peer aggression contributes to dating violence.
    • Only few studies have included exposure to violence.
    • Research on youth dating violence has been conducted on predominately White youth populations.
  • This study was conducted in high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District that had more than 80% Latino/a students.
  • 865 surveys were collected from adolescents who were primarily Latino (94%), 47% male, and were on average 14 years of age and having spent the majority of their lives in the United States; 80% had lived their whole life in the United States, and 5% had lived less than 5 years in the United States.
  • The results indicate that current conflict-either in an adolescent’s family life or in their peer group- may be more influential than past family violence in shaping teens’ expression of anger and standards of acceptable dating behavior.  This finding suggests that efforts to reduce aggressive dating behavior should focus on family and peer conflict that is currently present.
  • Results also indicated that parental monitoring and parental attachment influenced the acceptance of cross-gender aggression, but not actual anger expression.  This indicates that relationships with parents don’t necessarily influence action.
  • Further studies are needed to investigate these relationships further.

Quigley, D.D., Jaycox, L.H., McCaffrey, D.F., Marshall, G.N. (2006). “Peer and Family Influences on Adolescent Anger Expression and the Acceptance of Cross Gender Aggression.” Violence and Victims, 21(5), 597-610.

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©2007. National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence.
All Rights Reserved. Last updated 12/13/07.