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Dissertation

Executive functions and aggression in close custody institution adolescents

19 May 2004

Abstract

A review of the literature reveals conflicting evidence about the relationship between executive functions and behavioral disturbance in adolescents. A small portion of this research was dedicated specifically to examining the relationship between aggressive behavior and executive functions and no conclusive findings emerged. Hillcrest Youth Correction Facility (HYCF) provided an environment where it was possible to obtain a sample of male and female adolescents with a history of aggressive behavior disturbance. Aggression was operationally defined to differentiate between nonaggressive and aggressive conduct disordered youth for the purpose of evaluating differences in executive functions using a recently developed comprehensive measure of executive functions. A total of 60 youth were tested, 30 girls and 30 boys and after excluding three youth due to IQ < 80, a total of34 nonaggressive and 23 aggressive youth were compared on nine D-KEFS subtests. There was no evidence of difference between the girls performance and boys performance on the D-KEFS, nor was there a statistical difference between the aggressive and nonaggressive groups. Results of these findings and future directions are discussed.


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