Reactive and proactive aggression in mainland Chinese secondary school students

Xiang Li, Annis Lai chu Fung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Summary: As there has been little research in mainland China on the distinction between reactive and proactive aggression, the country’s educators and social workers work with an oversimplified definition of aggression that fails to consider different subtypes, thereby preventing the development of effective interventions. There is a pressing need to learn more about the particular subtypes of reactive and proactive aggression that prevail among mainland Chinese students. Here we report the validation and generalization in China of a well-designed assessment tool, the Reactive-Proactive Aggression Questionnaire (RPQ), which is widely used in the West to measure students' reactive and proactive aggression. Our twofold objective is to determine 1) whether reactive and proactive aggression can be distinguished; and 2) whether the two-factor structure of the reactive and proactive aggression model is appropriate in a non-Western setting. This is a pioneering study designed to develop a reliable reactive/proactive aggression assessment instrument for the mainland Chinese context. Findings: Consistent with the findings of previous validation studies on the RPQ, our findings indicate that reactive and proactive aggression are distinguishable in mainland China, but the factor structure differs slightly from the prior findings. Applications: With modification of its factor structure, the RPQ can be considered a valid scale to measure the two dimensions of aggression in mainland China. An understanding of the distinction between them will facilitate effective treatment for aggressive students in this region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-316
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescents
  • cross-cultural
  • mainland China
  • proactive aggression
  • reactive aggression
  • Social work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Reactive and proactive aggression in mainland Chinese secondary school students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this