Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of selected perceptual and demographic factors on the self-reported aggressive/violent behaviors of young adults while they were enrolled in school. Specific objectives formulated to guide the research were to: 1)determine the level of involvement in violence and violent behaviors; 2) determine the attitudes and beliefs of young adults; 3)determine the environmental conditions experienced by young adults when last in school; 4)determine if a relationship exists between the level of violence and violent behavior and selected perceptual and environmental factors among young adults, and finally 5)determine if a model exists to explain the level of violence and violent behavior. A descriptive correlational design was used to investigate the relationship between variables. Data was collected using a compendium of survey instruments that were developed to measure violence-related attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Five adult education centes were used for data collection. The target population was defined as young adults (18-25 years of age) enrolled in adult education programs. The outcome measure, "Aggressive Behavior," was correlated with each of the other perceptual, behavioral and environmental measures. Sixteen of the 18 perceptual independent variables were found to be significantly correlated with the dependent variable. The variable that was found to be most highly correlated with the aggressive behavior score was "Weapon Carrying Anywhere." Other variables found to have "very strong" associations with the dependent variable were "Weapon Carrying on School Property" and "Weapon Carrying Going To and From School." Two other variables, "Weapon Carrying-Guns" and "Attitudes toward Gangs," were found to have "substantial" associations with the dependent variable. Results of the multiple regression analysis found that the variable, "Weapon Carrying Anywhere," when considered alone explained 72.7% of the variance in the dependent variable; while two other variables "Weapon Carrying on School Property" and "Normative Beliefs about Aggression," explained an additional 6.7% of the variance in the dependent variable. Together, these three variables alone explained 79.4% of the variance in the dependent variable.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Michael Burnett