In this study I examine the critical factors and themes that are identified as salient influencers of overt and relational aggression among youth. Sex differences and similarities associated with such adolescent perceptions are assessed. Forty-eight ethnically diverse youth between the ages of 14 and 16 years participated in sex-specific focus groups and individual interviews. Sex-Specific Systems Influence Diagrams (SID), models of influences and outcomes, were created using the Interactive Qualitative Analysis methods (Northcutt & McCoy, 2004). Study findings suggest that the critical influences on violent and aggressive behavior, peer relationships, popularity, and emotions, are sex-specific. By examining and understanding such influences, school health professionals may be better able to create a safe and healthy school environment and improve the effectiveness of violence prevention programs.


Youth Violence, Violence Prevention, Adolescent Development, Interactive Qualitative Analysis, and Adolescent Sex Differences


I would like to acknowledge and thank Norvell Northcutt, Ph.D., from the University of Texas at Austin for his time spent reviewing this article and providing helpful input.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.