Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Sex Roles, Vol. 40, Nos. 9/10 (1999), pp. 711–729. Copyright © 1999 Plenum Publishing Corporation/Springer Verlag BV. Used by permission. The publisher’s version is online @


The primary goal of the present analysis was to determine whether the commonly observed gender difference in physical aggression could be accounted for by gender differences in selected personality and social contextual factors. Eighty-nine adolescents (M age = 16.0; 52% female; 53% European-Americans, 38% Latinos) completed self-report measures, including sympathy (empathic concern and perspective taking) and parental involvement (support and monitoring). Mediation analyses revealed that relatively high levels of both empathic concern and parental monitoring accounted for relatively low levels of physical aggression. In addition, sympathy (for males) and parental involvement (males and females) were negatively related to physical aggression. Discussion focused on theoretical and practical implications of these findings.