Advertisement

Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 609–621 | Cite as

Self-perceptions and their Prediction of Aggression in Male Juvenile Offenders

  • Stephanie D. SmithEmail author
  • Rebecca J. Lynch
  • Haley F. Stephens
  • Janet A. Kistner
Original Article

Abstract

This study evaluated multiple facets of self-perceptions that have been theorized and shown to play a contributory role in the development of aggression for less clinically severe populations in a sample of youths from the juvenile justice system. Independent and unique associations of low self-esteem and inflated self-perceptions with aggression were examined in a sample of male juvenile offenders (N = 119; Mean age = 16.74 years) using a longitudinal study design. Latent growth curve modeling analyses revealed that self-esteem, adaptive and maladaptive narcissism independently predicted juvenile offenders’ initial levels of aggression. It was also found that perceptual bias independently predicted changes in aggression over time. With the inclusion of all variables in the same model, self-esteem was no longer associated with aggression; however, all other relationships remained significant. The implications of these findings as well as the importance of interventions targeting self-perceptions to decrease aggression among high-risk youths are discussed.

Keywords

Self-perceptions Aggression Juvenile offenders 

References

  1. 1.
    Barry CT, Frick PJ, Killian AL (2003) The relation of narcissism and self-esteem to conduct problems in children: a preliminary investigation. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 32:139–152PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    David CF, Kistner JA (2000) Do positive self-perceptions have a “dark side”? Examination of the link between perceptual bias and aggression. J Abnorm Child Psychol 28:327–337PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Donnellan MB, Trzesniewski KH, Robins RW, Moffitt TE, Caspi A (2005) Low self-esteem is related to aggression, antisocial behavior, and delinquency. Psychol Sci 16:328–335PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baumeister RF, Smart L, Boden JM (1996) Relation of threatened egotism to violence and aggression: the dark side of high self-esteem. Psychol Rev 103:5–33PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rosenberg M (1989) Society and the adolescent self-image. Wesleyan University Press, MiddletownGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Harter S (1985) Manual for the self-perception profile for children. Unpublished manuscript, University of Denver, DenverGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lochman JE, Lampron LB (1985) The usefulness of peer ratings of aggression and social acceptance in the identification of behavioral and subjective difficulties in aggressive boys. J Appl Dev Psychol 6:187–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wallace MT, Barry CT, Zeigler-Hill V, Green BA (2012) Locus of control as a contributing factor in the relation between self-perception and adolescent aggression. Aggress Behav 38:213–221PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ybrandt H, Armelius K (2010) Peer aggression and mental health problems: self-esteem as a mediator. Sch Psychol Int 31:146–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Matsuura N, Hashimoto T, Toichi M (2009) Correlations among self-esteem, aggression, adverse childhood experiences and depression in inmates of a female juvenile correctional facility in Japan. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 63:478–485PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Matsuura N, Hashimoto T, Toichi M (2010) The characteristics of AD/HD symptoms, self-esteem, and aggression among serious juvenile offenders in Japan. Res Dev Disabil 31:1197–1203PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brendgen M, Vitaro F, Turgeon L, Poulin F, Wanner B (2004) Is there a dark side of positive illusions? Overestimation of social competence and subsequent adjustment in aggressive and nonaggressive children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 32:305–320PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Diamantopoulou S, Rydell A, Henricsson L (2008) Can both low and high self-esteem be related to aggression in children? Soc Dev 17:682–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hoza B, Murray-Close D, Arnold LE, Hinshaw SP, Hechtman L, The MTA Cooperative Group (2010) Time-dependent changes in positively biased self-perceptions of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a developmental perspective. Dev Psychopathol 22:375–390Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hughes JN, Cavell TA, Grossman PA (1997) A positive view of self: risk or protection for aggressive children? Dev Psychopathol 9:75–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Orobio de Castro B, Brendgen M, Van Boxtel H, Vitaro F, Schaepers L (2007) “Accept me, or else”: disputed overestimation of social competence predicts increases in proactive aggression. J Abnorm Child Psychol 35:165–178PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sandstrom MJ, Herlan RD (2007) Threatened egotism or confirmed inadequacy? How children’s perceptions of social status influence aggressive behavior toward peers. J Soc Clin Psychol 26:240–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zakriski AL, Coie JD (1996) A comparison of aggressive-rejected and nonaggressive-rejected children’s interpretations of self-directed and other-directed rejection. Child Dev 67:1048–1070PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ziqiang X, Suran G, Liping C (2007) The relationship of adolescents’ self-esteem and aggression. Acta Psychol Sin 39:845–851Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Berdan LE, Keane SP, Calkins SD (2008) Temperament and externalizing behavior: social preference and perceived acceptance as protective factors. Dev Psychol 44:957–968PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rudolph KD, Clark AG (2001) Conceptions of relationships in children with depressive and aggressive symptoms: social-cognitive distortion or reality? J Abnorm Child Psychol 29:41–56PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    van Boxtel HW, de Castro BO, Goossens FA (2004) High self-perceived social competence in rejected children is related to frequent fighting. Eur J Dev Psychol 1:205–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Maples JL, Miller JD, Wilson LF, Seibert LA, Few LR, Zeichner A (2010) Narcissistic personality disorder and self-esteem: an examination of differential relations with self-report and laboratory-based aggression. J Res Pers 44:559–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Paulhus DL, Robins RW, Trzesniewski KH, Tracy JL (2004) Two replicable suppressor situations in personality research. Multivariate Behav Res 39:303–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bushman BJ, Baumeister RF (1998) Threatened egotism, narcissism, self-esteem, and direct and displaced aggression: does self-love or self-hate lead to violence? J Pers Soc Psychol 75:219–229PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Bushman BJ, Baumeister RF, Thomaes S, Ryu E, Begeer S, West SG (2009) Looking again, and harder, for a link between low self-esteem and aggression. J Pers 77:427–446PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Twenge JM, Campbell WK (2003) “Isn’t it fun to get the respect that we’re going to deserve?” narcissism, social rejection, and aggression. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 29:261–272PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Barry CT, Frick PJ, Adler KK, Grafeman SJ (2007) The predictive utility of narcissism among children and adolescents: evidence for a distinction between adaptive and maladaptive narcissism. J Child Fam Stud 16:508–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Barry CT, Grafeman SJ, Adler KK, Pickard JD (2007) The relations among narcissism, self-esteem, and delinquency in a sample of at-risk adolescents. J Adolesc 30:933–942PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Barry CT, Pickard JD, Ansel LL (2009) The associations of adolescent invulnerability and narcissism with problem behaviors. Pers Individ Dif 47:577–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Golmaryami FN, Barry CT (2010) The associations of self-reported and peer-reported relational aggression with narcissism and self-esteem among adolescents in a residential setting. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 39:128–133PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Lau K, Marsee MA, Kunimatsu MM, Fassnacht GM (2011) Examining associations between narcissism, behavior problems, and anxiety in non-referred adolescents. Child Youth Care Forum 40:163–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Thomaes S, Bushman B, Stegge H, Olthof T (2008) Trumping shame blasts of noise: narcissism, self-esteem, shame, and aggression in young adolescents. Child Dev 79:1792–1801PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Washburn JJ, McMahon SD, King CA, Reinecke MA, Silver C (2004) Narcissistic features in young adolescents: relations to aggression and internalizing symptoms. J Youth Adolesc 33:247–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Emmons RA (1984) Factor analysis and construct validity of the narcissistic personality inventory. J Pers Assess 48:291–300PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Raskin R, Terry H (1988) A principal-components analysis of the narcissistic personality inventory and further evidence of its construct validity. J Pers Soc Psychol 54:890–902PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Raskin R, Novacek J, Hogan R (1991) Narcissism, self-esteem, and defensive self-enhancement. J Pers 59:19–38PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Taylor LD, Davis-Kean P, Malanchuk O (2007) Self-esteem, academic self-concept, and aggression at school. Aggress Behav 33:130–136PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Gabriel MT, Critelli JW, Ee JS (1994) Narcissistic illusions in self-evaluations of intelligence and attractiveness. J Pers 62:143–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    John OP, Robins RW (1994) Accuracy and bias in self-perception: individual differences in self-enhancement and the role of narcissism. J Pers Soc Psychol 66:206–219PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Robins RW, Beer JS (2001) Positive illusions about the self: short-term benefits and long-term costs. J Pers Soc Psychol 80:340–352PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Harter S (1988) Developmental processes in the construction of the self. In: Yawkey TD, Johnson JE (eds) Integrative processes and socialization: early to middle childhood. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 45–78Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Wichstraum L (1995) Harter’s self-perception profile for adolescents (SPPA): reliability, validity, and evaluation of the question format. J Pers Assess 65:100–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Calhoun GB, Glaser B, Stefurak T, Bradshaw CP (2000) Preliminary validation of the narcissistic personality inventory–juvenile offender. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol 44:564–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Cole DA, Gondoli DM, Peeke LG (1998) Structure and validity of parent and teacher perceptions of children’s competence: a multitrait-multimethod-multigroup investigation. Psychol Assess 10:241–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Cole DA, Cho S, Martin JM, Seroczynski AD, Hoffman K (2001) Effects of validity and bias on gender differences in the appraisal of children’s competence: results of MTMM analysis in a longitudinal investigation. Struct Equ Modeling 8:84–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Owens JS, Goldfine ME, Evangelista NM, Hoza B, Kaiser NM (2007) A critical review of self-perceptions and the positive illusory bias in children with ADHD. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 4:335–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Owens JS, Hoza B (2003) The role of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity in the positive illusory bias. J Consult Clin Psychol 71:680–691PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Swanson EN, Owens EB, Hinshaw SP (2012) Is the positive illusory bias illusory? Examining discrepant self-perceptions of competence in girls with ADHD. J Abnorm Child Psychol 40:987–998PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Thomaes S, Reijntjes A, Orbio de Castro B, Bushman B (2009) Reality bites—or does it? Realistic self-views buffer negative mood following social threat. Psychol Sci 20:1079–1080PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Kosson DS, Smith SS, Newman JP (1990) Evaluating the construct validity of psychopathy in black and white male inmates: three preliminary studies. J Abnorm Psychol 99:250–259PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Dodge KA, Price JM, Bachorowski J, Newman JP (1990) Hostile attributional biases in severely aggressive adolescents. J Abnorm Psychol 99:385–392PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Muthén LK, Muthén BO (2007) Mplus user’s guide. Muthén & Muthén, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Graham JW (2012) Missing data: analysis and design. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Tabachnick BG, Fidell LS (2001) Using multivariate statistics. Allyn & Bacon, Needham HeightsGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Duncan TE, Duncan SC, Strycker LA, Li F, Alpert A (1999) An introduction to latent variable growth curve modeling: concepts, issues, and applications. Lawrence Erlbaum, MahwahGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    MacKinnon DP (2008) Introduction to statistical mediation analysis. Lawrence Erlbaum, MahwahGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Cohen J (1992) A power primer. Psychol Bull 122:155–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Bentler PM (1990) Comparative fit indexes in structural models. Psychol Bull 107:238–246PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Brown TA (2006) Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Bentler PM (1995) EQS structural equations program manual. Multivariate Software, EncinoGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Steiger JH (1990) Structural model evaluation and modification: an interval estimation approach. Multivariate Behav Res 25:173–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Bollan KA, Curran PJ (2006) Latent curve models: a structural equation approach. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Locke KD (2009) Aggression, narcissism, self-esteem, and the attribution of desirable and humanizing traits to self versus others. J Res Pers 43:99–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Miller JD, Campbell WK, Young DL, Lakey CE, Reidy DE, Zeichner A et al (2009) Examining the relations among narcissism, impulsivity, and self-defeating behaviors. J Pers 77:761–794PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Vaughn MG, Newhill CE, DeLisi M, Beaver KM, Howard MO (2008) An investigation of psychopathic features among delinquent girls: violence, theft, and drug abuse. Youth Violence Juv Justice 6:240–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Rosenberg M (1965) Society and adolescent self-image. Princeton University, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Hirschi T (1969) Causes of delinquency. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Rogers CR (1961) On becoming a person. Houghton Mifflin, BostonGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Tracy JL, Robins RW (2003) “Death of a (narcissistic) salesman:” an integrative model of fragile self-esteem. Psychol Inq 14:57–62Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Baumeister RF, Campbell JD, Krueger J, Vohs KD (2008) Exploding the self-esteem myth. In: Lilienfeld SO, Ruscio J, Jay S (eds) Navigating the mindfield: a user’s guide to distinguishing science from pseudoscience in mental health. Prometheus Books, Amherst, pp 575–587Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Landenberger NA, Lipsey MW (2005) The positive effects of cognitive-behavioral programs for offenders: a meta-analysis of factors associated with effective treatment. J Exp Criminol 1:451–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Sukhodolsky DG, Kassinove H, Gorman BS (2004) Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anger in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Aggress Violent Behav 9:247–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Shirk S, Burwell R, Harter S (2003) Strategies to modify low self-esteem in adolescents. In: Reinecke MA, Dattilio FM, Freeman A (eds) Cognitive therapy with children and adolescents: a casebook for clinical practice. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Ward T, Melser J, Yates PM (2007) Reconstructing the Risk-Need-Responsivity model: a theoretical elaboration and evaluation. Aggress Violent Behav 12:208–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Reddy LA, Goldstein AP (2001) Aggression replacement training: a multimodal intervention for aggressive adolescents. Resid Treat Child Youth 18:47–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Sukhodolsky DG, Golub A, Stone EC, Orban L (2005) Dismantling anger control training for children: a randomized pilot study of social problem-solving versus social skills training components. Behav Ther 36:15–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Groopman LC, Cooper AM (2001) Narcissistic personality disorder. In: Gabbard GO (ed) Treatments of psychiatric disorders. American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DC, pp 2309–2326Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Levy KN, Clarkin JF (2005) Narzisstische Persönlichkeitsstörungen Therapie [The empirical status of the treatment of narcissistic personality disorder]. In: Kernberg OF, Hartmann HP (eds) Narzissmus: Grundlagen, Störungsbilder, Therapie. Schattauer, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Goldman GF, Gelso CJ (1997) Kohut’s theory of narcissism and adolescent drug abuse treatment. Psychoanal Psychol 14:81–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Teusch L, Boehme H, Finke J, Gastpar M (2001) Effects of client-centered psychotherapy for personality disorders alone and in combination with psychopharmacological treatment. Psychother Psychosom 70:328–336PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie D. Smith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rebecca J. Lynch
    • 2
  • Haley F. Stephens
    • 2
  • Janet A. Kistner
    • 2
  1. 1.Yale School of MedicineChild Study CenterNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations