A phenomenological study of aggression and young adult females

Date
2009-12
Authors
Pugh, Sharon
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Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to obtain through retrospective reporting an understanding of young adult females' individual experiences with displaying aggression and their views regarding the effect their aggression had on their individual families. The theoretical foundation for this study was family systems theory. To provide an understanding of this phenomenon, the review of literature focuses on three main areas: (a) aggression, (b) bullying, and (c) public policy.

The research was designed using a phenomenological research approach in order to capture the women's rich meanings. The participants were women between the ages of 18-24 in the southern region of the United States including Texas and Florida. Participants were recruited by word of mouth using snowball sampling. Two of the participants were included in the pilot study to assess the interview format, questions, and quality of audio recording prior to the study.

Also all 15 participants completed a demographic questionnaire and a face-to-face semi-structured interview. Interviews lasted approximately 30 minutes. Verbatim transcripts were read multiple times and categorized using a color coding system.

Six themes emerged from the analysis of the interviews: (1) using aggression as a shield of protection, (2) aggression as a way to express self, (3) occurrences of aggression among inner circle—family, friends, and significant others, (4) childhood experiences with parents/caregivers—inadequate and poor role modeling—personal lost, (5) witnessing abuse in family of origin, and (6) relationship with family of origin.

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Keywords
Social sciences, Aggression, Family, Women, Young adults, Womens studies, Individual & family studies
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