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Seasonal differences of aggressive behavior in Chilean adolescents

José Antonio Muñoz-Reyes (Researcher, based at Centro de Estudios Avanzados, Universidad de Playa Ancha, Viña Del Mar, Chile)
Luis Flores-Prado (Associate Professor, based at Instituto de Entomología, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Santiago de Chile, Chile)
Marcial Beltrami (Researcher, based at Departamento de Biología, Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Santiago de Chile, Chile)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 8 April 2014

Abstract

Purpose

Adolescent aggressive behavior has generated concern about/increasing rates of youth violence in schools. It is important to perform new research using different methods and approximations to obtain a better understanding of this multifactorial phenomenon. A poorly studied area consists of the presence of seasonal differences in adolescent aggressive behavior. Accordingly, several studies (with contradictory results) have found that adult aggressive behavior varies according to seasonality. The purpose of this paper is to use observational descriptive methods to analyze, during different seasons, adolescent aggressive behavior among students in schools of Santiago de Chile.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 32 aggressive interactions between dyads of male adolescents (14-18 years) were recorded using observational methods (i.e. ethological methodology) in a complete academic class in two schools from Santiago de Chile. Subsequently, the paper constructed intensity aggressive indexes based on behavioral data.

Findings

The first contact, initiating aggressive interaction, and the aggression frequency were higher during warm season (i.e. spring) rather than cold season (autumn-winter). The aggression intensity of the complete interaction was higher during cold season. In addition, temperature was negatively associated to aggression intensity.

Originality/value

These results, apparently contradictory, can serve to support classic models used to explain seasonal differences in aggressiveness, where the intensity of the first aggression could be the mediator of aggressiveness intensity in the interaction. Finally, the paper proposes that seasonal differences must be taken into account as an impact factor over the frequency of adolescent male aggression in schools.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Macarena Sánchez for her valuable contribution to data collection. This study was funded by the project FIBAS 1405, and MYS 11/68/06 both from the Dirección de Investigación de la Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación (DIUMCE) of Chile.

Citation

Antonio Muñoz-Reyes, J., Flores-Prado, L. and Beltrami, M. (2014), "Seasonal differences of aggressive behavior in Chilean adolescents", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 129-138. https://doi.org/10.1108/JACPR-08-2013-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited