Predictors of aggression of university students

Chris Myburgh, Marie Poggenpoel, Cornelius M. Fourie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Post-secondary education forms the backbone of delivering high-powered persons in a country. Students are subjected to high levels of pressure to achieve success. This often promotes aggression towards self, others and even the environment. Predicting aggression is important as this can assist in managing aggression and the facilitation of the mental health of students. Little research has been published on the prediction of aggression in a university. Aim: To describe the prediction of aggression of students in one faculty in a university. Setting: Students in one faculty in a university. Methods: A deductive quantitative methodology was applied. Multivariate statistical techniques were used to answer the research questions. An online survey was conducted by using a questionnaire that comprised items related to biographic, personality and aggression aspects. Data were analysed by calculating Cronbach’s alpha values, various factor analyses (principal component analysis) and several multiple regression analyses to identify and describe the predictors of aggression. Results: Findings reflect that aggression can be predicted by intra-and interpersonal variables, such as ‘positive inclination towards others’, ‘positive inclination towards self’ and ‘acting responsibly towards self.’ Aggression is lower when a student’s positive inclination towards others is higher and towards self is lower and when a student acts with greater responsibility towards self. Conclusion: Students should understand and manage their own aggression. Overall, the findings showed that students are seemingly ‘adjusted’ conformists using an external locus of control. The facilitation of an internal locus of control and autonomous behaviour is imperative.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera1096
JournalHealth SA Gesondheid
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Aggression
  • Descriptive
  • Exploration
  • Factor analyses
  • Multivariate regression
  • Predictors
  • University students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Predictors of aggression of university students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this