USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Adolescent perceptions of inductive discipline as a response to peer aggression: Variation by socialization agent and individual characteristics

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Wendy Rote

LaSonya Moore

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Inductive discipline can reduce problem behavior and promote moral internalization in children, but its role in reducing peer aggression in adolescence is less well‐understood, especially across diverse socialization agents. Using hypothetical vignettes, this study examined adolescents’ evaluations of and expected emotional reactions to parents’, teachers’, and friends’ inductive responses to peer aggression. Participants were 209 middle school (Mage = 12.29 years) and 266 high school (Mage = 15.86 years) students (68% female, 39.4% White, and 37.7% Black). Adolescents approved of induction and expected it to be somewhat effective at preventing peer aggression and inducing guilt and empathy. When compared with power assertion, adolescents typically viewed induction as the fairer but less effective strategy. Evaluations varied by socialization agent, aggression status, and demographics. Inductions by parents were rated consistently as most impactful and youth who were younger, female, and less aggressive appeared more responsive to such discipline. Results highlight the importance of incorporating parents into peer aggression interventions, combining confrontive and inductive responses, and providing aggressive youth with additional skills to help them better internalize the inductive messages.


John Wiley & Sons Ltd