Having to Fight | Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Existing research that attempts to understand aggressive behavior often focuses on adults and/or individual traits. This study from the Journal of Interpersonal Violence used a Grounded Theory approach to develop a theoretical framework of how younger adolescents constructed an understanding of their own aggressive behavior within the social context of their lives. The participants were 11 adolescents (aged 12-16) who had previously been involved in incidents of aggression at a school for children with emotional and behavioral difficulties. The identified theoretical framework outlined that aggressive behavior was fundamental to an identity of toughness that participants sought to portray to others. This identity emerged in a hostile peer environment to prevent victimization and establish friendships. The findings are discussed in relation to their clinical implications, limitations, and possibilities for further research.