Original Research

Autonomous-submissive orientations and aggression of students at a metropolitan university in South Africa: Mental health implications

Chris Myburgh, Marie Poggenpoel, Cornelius Fourie
Curationis | Vol 43, No 1 | a2142 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v43i1.2142 | © 2020 Chris Myburgh, Marie Poggenpoel, Cornelius Fourie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 2019 | Published: 03 November 2020

About the author(s)

Chris Myburgh, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Marie Poggenpoel, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Cornelius Fourie, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: Students are sometimes subjected to difficult circumstances to achieve success. Studying under these circumstances could cultivate aggression towards self and others, and the environment. Little, if any, published research is available dealing with students being orientated autonomous versus being submissive and perceptions of aggression.

Objectives: To explore and describe the perceptions of groups of students being orientated autonomous versus students being submissive and perceptions of aggression. Recommendations concerning these two groups of students are made.

Method: An exploratory quantitative research design that is descriptive and inferential in nature was applied. A questionnaire was electronically distributed to students in a faculty. The questionnaire consisted of items on biographic, personality and aggression. In the statistical analysis Cronbach’s alphas, principal component analysis were done and hypotheses were tested on differences between students orientated autonomous and those being submissive.

Results: Of the 266 completed questionnaires used, 177 were received from females and 89 from males. Eighty-two (82) of these were honours, masters or doctoral students. Findings reflected graded differences between students being autonomous and students being submissive orientated concerning Overt verbal aggression (means below 1.82), Overt physical aggression (means below 2.53) and aggressive inclination towards others (means below 3.01). The implications are that students are to be sensitised to be reflective of their levels of aggression. University management should help students to be reflective concerning their aggression, and to establish congruency between self-perception and reality.

Conclusion: Students should be helped to understand and manage their aggressive inclination.


Keywords

aggression; autonomous-submissive orientation; descriptive; differences; exploratory; factor analysis; university students

Metrics

Total abstract views: 540
Total article views: 409


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.