Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychological Science (MSPS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Dawn Witherspoon

Second Advisor

Dr. Tracy Alloway

Rights Statement

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. George Rainbolt


The study of trauma through bully victimization, rates of aggression, and anxiety in African Americans (AA) and other minorities, as well as the influence that their weight has on these items is severely understudied. This study had four aims: 1) Evaluate the relationship of anxiety, victimization, and aggression in early adolescent AA females, 2) Observe whether the individuals who are victimized also report being aggressive in early adolescent AA females, 3) Investigate the relationship between weight, victimization, anxiety and aggression, 4) Test mediation effects of poverty ratio, and moderation of poverty level and caregivers education. This study contains 77 AA girl participants (Mage=11.81) from a Mid-Atlantic city. Self-administered questionnaires for the Problem Behavior Frequency Scale and the Revised Children Manifest Anxiety Scale were used to assess rates of bullying victimization, aggression, and anxiety, caregivers answered a questionnaire about household income and education level. Participants use of relational and physical aggression was unrelated to their manifestation of anxiety, however, the use of verbal aggressions was. Participants who were aggressive were often found to be victims of similar forms of victimization (i.e., if a relational aggressor, more likely to be a relational victim). The weight of a participant was related to their relational victimization; however, their weight was unrelated to use of aggression. Individuals who were overweight or obese had higher rates of overall anxiety. The current study strived to bridge the gap between knowledge on trauma, rates of aggression, anxiety, and its pertinence to AA girls.