Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


African American teenage girls-Psychology, Youth and violence, African American teenage girls-Violence against, Aggressiveness in adolescence, Violence, African American adolescents, Aggression


The purpose of this study is to explore the influential factors of African American adolescent and college-aged (13-20) females who engage in violent and aggressive behavior. The experience of these participants was elicited through self-developed, semi-structured interviews composed of questions that explored several possible contributing factors. Interviews were conducted with 12 females who self-identified as African American. The study explored themes of family dynamics, community violence exposure, identification with negative stereotypes and challenges with education and victimization. Major findings were that family dynamics and peer relationships were identified as major influential factors of the participant's engagement in violent behavior. While there was a variation in emphasis and specificity in each participant's discourse, majority of the participants shared similar responses. The limitations and implications of this study suggest that there's a need for further study on this specific population and topic. This study represents each participant individually; giving the participants an opportunity to share their story. There still remains a need for further exploration.




iii, 56 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 42-47)