The factor structure of the Normative Beliefs about Aggression Scale as used with a sample of adolescents in low socio-economic areas of South Africa
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The issue of adolescent aggression and violence has received significant attention in the literature. Normative beliefs about the acceptability of aggressive behaviour have been identified as central in influencing aggression. The Normative Beliefs about Aggression Scale was developed to identify cognitive beliefs about the acceptability of aggressive behaviour. The scale has been extensively used in research on child and adolescent aggression and has consistently demonstrated that normative beliefs account for variances in adolescent aggressive behaviour, predict aggression, and mediate the relationship between risk factors and aggression among this population group. Despite extensive use of this scale in other contexts, information is lacking on its psychometric properties. A full analysis of the factor structure of the Normative Beliefs about Aggression Scale has not yet been conducted. This study presents the first test of the factor structure of the full instrument and confirms that the Normative Beliefs about Aggression Scale is a reliable instrument when used in the South African context. The results point to the multidimensional nature of beliefs about aggression and provide an important foundation for future research into correlates of aggressive behaviour in different cultural contexts.