Expanding my Focus

I am finishing up my first week of full time research after returning from studying abroad, and it is exciting to be back in my lab. One my lab’s main goals for this summer is to finish data collection for Time 3 of our longitudinal study, which I will be using in my project. My other goal is to do a literature search and write the introduction for my thesis. This week I had one interview with a participant and his mother, but have been focusing primarily on reading about aggressive behavior in adolescence.

When I started my project, my intention was to focus specifically on aggression. However, as I have been conducting my literature search, I have expanded my focus to externalizing behavior, which includes other disruptive behavior, such as defiance, in addition to aggression. These traits are symptomatic of Disruptive Behavior Disorders, a group that is characterized by hostile social interactions and dysregulated expression of anger. As my thesis focuses on the effects of peer socialization of anger, it makes sense to include symptoms of both defiant and aggressive behavior in my analysis, as they both have a basis in anger. For now, as I continue my literature search, I am reading articles focused both on disruptive behavior in general and aggressive behavior specifically.


  1. pglynch says:

    It sounds like expanding the scope of your thesis has given you a lot more to work with. Are there other factors that you need to take into account in addition to externalizing behavior in order to have a more coherent thesis? Investigating the peer socialization of anger sounds really interesting, and I am intrigued by how new time 3 data will impact your results. Good luck with data collection and your literature review; I can’t wait to hear more!