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01-02-2009 | Uitgave 2/2009 Open Access

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 2/2009

New Directions in Measuring Reactive and Proactive Aggression: Validation of a Teacher Questionnaire

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 2/2009
Auteurs:
Hanneke Polman, Bram Orobio de Castro, Sander Thomaes, Marcel van Aken

Abstract

The well-known distinction between reactive and proactive aggression is theoretically important but empirically controversial. Recently, aggression researchers have argued that we should separate the form and function of aggression to make a clearer distinction between reactive and proactive aggression. This article describes the validation of a new teacher-report Instrument for Reactive and Proactive Aggression (IRPA) that assesses the form separate from the function of aggression. We demonstrated good discriminant, convergent, and construct validity of the IRPA in a sample of 427 children aged 10 to 13. Reactive and proactive functions of aggression were independent constructs (r = 0.03) which indicates excellent discriminant validity. Convergent validity was satisfactory; scores from the IRPA were moderately to highly related to scores from the widely used Teacher Rating Instrument, TRI (Dodge and Coie in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 53:1146–1158, 1987). Additionally, reactive and proactive aggression showed unique correlations with most a priori hypothesized theoretically relevant variables, which indicates construct validity. (150 words)

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