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An Implicit Theories of Personality Intervention Reduces Adolescent Aggression in Response to Victimization and Exclusion


Adolescents are often resistant to interventions that reduce aggression in children. At the same time, they are 
developing stronger beliefs in the fixed nature of personal characteristics, particularly aggression. The present 
intervention addressed these beliefs. A randomized field experiment with a diverse sample of Grades 9 and 
10 students (ages 14–16, n = 230) tested the impact of a 6-session intervention that taught an incremental the- 
ory (a belief in the potential for personal change). Compared to no-treatment and coping skills control groups, 
the incremental theory group behaved significantly less aggressively and more prosocially 1 month postinter- 
vention and exhibited fewer conduct problems 3 months postintervention. The incremental theory and the 
coping skills interventions also eliminated the association between peer victimization and depressive 

Dr. Kali Trzesniewski,
Jan 29, 2013, 12:46 AM