ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

›› 2007, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (05): 845-851.

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The Relationship of Adolescent’s Self-esteem and Aggression:
The Role of Mediator and Moderator

Xin Ziqiang,Guo Suran,Chi Liping   

  1. Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2006-09-26 Revised:1900-01-01 Published:2007-09-30 Online:2007-09-30
  • Contact: Xin Ziqiang

Abstract: Currently, the relationship between global self-esteem and aggression is being debated by many researchers. Traditionally, researchers believed that individuals with low self-esteem were prone to externalizing problems such as antisocial behavior. However, some researchers questioned this claim arguing that it was high self-esteem and not low self-esteem that was related to high violence. Other researchers suggested that the true psychological trait related to aggression was narcissism. Many empirical evidences have supported all or any of these 3 viewpoints.
The present study aimed at investigating the relationship between self-esteem and aggression by adding 2 “third variables,” namely, mediator and moderator. After summarizing the relevant reports, self-control was considered as the mediator and peer relationship as the moderator. A total of 705 junior and senior middle school students were assessed on 3 scales and peer nominations. The 3 scales used or developed in this study were self-esteem scale, aggression scale, and self-control scale, and all of them represented relatively good internal consistency reliabilities.
The results were as follows: (1) the correlation coefficient of self-esteem and aggression was –0.21, which implied that aggression was related to low self-esteem; (2) the regression coefficient between self-esteem and aggression was not statistically significant after the introduction of self-control into the regression equation, which indicated that self-esteem influenced aggression through self-control and that self-control mediated the relationship between self-esteem and aggression; (3) social status moderated the effect of self-esteem on aggression and detailedly it moderated the strength of the effect; (4) social influence moderated the mediating effect caused by self-control

Key words: self-esteem, aggression, self-control, peer relationship, mediator, moderator, moderated mediator

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