Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Rudd, Jill

Subject Headings

Teacher-student relationships, Communication in education, Aggressiveness -- Prevention


This study examined the impact of verbal aggression toward students when recalling a hurtful incident between a teacher and a student. Specifically, this study investigated the relationship between students reported verbally aggressive incidents with teachers, self-esteem and student-teacher relational satisfaction. A total of 83 participants were surveyed to obtain recollections of verbally aggressive incidents and their reported impact. Verbally aggressive messages were represented by Infante's (1987) typologies of verbally aggressive messages, which included character attacks, competence attacks, background attacks, physical appearance attacks, maledictions, teasing, ridicule, threats, profanity and nonverbal emblems. The researcher also included a "never experienced" category for respondents who expressed never having experienced a verbally aggressive incident with a teacher. Generally, the findings indicated that a statistically significant relationship existed between experiencing verbal aggression and decreased student-teacher relational satisfaction and decreased self-esteem. Additionally, it was found that character attacks, competence attacks, ridicule and background attacks were the most frequently perceived forms of verbal aggression. Furthermore, results indicated that respondents who had moderate to high levels of verbal aggression were more likely to report experiencing a verbally aggressive incident with a teacher

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