Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Vickie Walker

Abstract

Aggression can result in a challenge of the basic human need for safety and security (Plotnik, 1999). Historically there has been extensive research regarding physical aggression. However, only in the past two decades has relational aggression received attention. Most research studies regarding relational aggression have focused upon children, adolescents and young adults. The purpose of this study was to explore the presence of relational aggression in the adult population. The Self-Report of Aggression and Social Behavior Measure tool was used to survey a convenience sample of 67 nursing students. The participants were students enrolled in the school of nursing (associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree nursing programs) on the campus of a private, Christian, university. The mean age of participants was 27 years. Results of the study substantiate the presence of relational aggression in adults. The participants were divided into two groups for comparison. One group was under 21 years of age and the other group was 21 years of age and older. This comparison revealed a mild correlation between age and cross gender relational aggression, and age and cross gender exclusivity.