Adolescent aggression has received a wide and longtime attention in scientific research, because of the extent of the phenomenon in this age group and of the negative consequences it inflicts on affected adolescents, and their human environments. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to determine the proportion (of high levels) of aggressive behaviors (physical, verbal, and direct aggression, anger, and hostility) in an urban sample of adolescent students, as well as to investigate associations between the occurrence of these behaviors, and adolescents’ characteristics and mental health problems. The sample consisted of 2050 students attending the second grade of 49 random selected High Schools and Senior High Schools of the Regional Unit of the Central Sector of Attica and Piraeus. The Buss– Perry Aggression Questionnaire was administered to measure participants’ aggression behaviors, while the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire was also used to estimate their mental health and behavioral difficulties. Information about adolescents’ individual, family, and school characteristics, was also collected. Results of the statistical analysis showed that the occurrence rates of high levels of participants’ aggressive behaviors ranged between 2.2 (for total aggression) and 10.5% (for anger). Among individual characteristics, gender (with boys predominating in physical and direct aggression and girls in anger), (older) age, and sports activity (to direct aggression) were related to participants’ aggressive behaviors. On the other hand, non-intact family structure and household insecurity food intake were positive correlated with specific aggressive behaviors, while pocket money allowance was positive associated with all of them. Concerning participants' mental health and behavioral issues, conduct problems and hyperactivity/ inattention were positive correlated with all investigated aggressive behaviors. In conclusion, the vast majority of the Central Sector of Attica and Piraeus adolescents did not seem to show high levels of aggressive behaviors (except anger). Nevertheless, considering this study outcomes (such as the "aggressive" burden of older adolescents, the role of family structure and pocket money allowance, as well as the co-occurrence with mental and behavioral problems), further longitudinal study is required to better understand the mechanisms that facilitate adolescent aggression.

KEYWORDS: Aggression, adolescence, indicators, correlations, mental health. 

Zacharias Kalogerakis, Helen Lazaratou, Dimitris Dikeos, Giota Touloumi, Kostas Kollias, Marina Economou, Charalampos Papageorgiou

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