Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice

Major Advisor

Cody J. Jorgensen, Ph.D.


Jessica Wells, Ph.D.


Lisa G. Bostaph, Ph.D.


The purpose of this thesis is to a) explore the research related to aggression and depression and b) test hypotheses that focus on the relationship between aggression and depression in relation to age and gender over time. Aggression and depression are discussed extensively by examining a broad range of literature that points to environmental, social, individual, psychological, and biophysiological influences. First, aggression and depression are discussed separately in terms of their underlying theory, biosocial perspectives, typologies, behavioral and personality abnormalities, brain structures related to each, and neurochemical/neurological influences. The final sections of the literature review discuss how aggression and depression intersect as well as the research regarding age of onset for both behaviors. These subsections are meant to provide the reader with different lenses through which to frame a deeper understanding of aggression and depression and to expose the reality that aggression and depression are highly complex behavioral outputs for which there are a multiplicity of causes. A methodological outline including hypotheses, research design, sample characteristics, measurements of aggression and depression and covariates, and an analytical strategy frame this study. Lastly, results from the analyses are reported and discussed, contextualizing the findings drawn in this paper in light of extant research.