The degree of acceptance of various forms of aggression in different situations was analyzed by administering
self-report questionnaires. Previous studies on justification of interpersonal aggression, in ‘normal’ adult populations, in
quite different cultures, have shown overall similar, but not identical, features. A similar trend of justification, but at a
higher level, was expected in special ‘deviant’ populations, such as prisoners and psychiatric patients. The present study
focuses on the way in which young re-offenders serving in reformatories justify different types of interpersonal aggression
in a variety of settings. As a control population, a sample of students of similar age living in the same area was used.
Results: the young delinquent population justified aggression at a higher level than ‘normal’ teenagers of similar age in all
situations, except ‘when communication breaks down’. Specifically their justification of physical aggression as well as of
threatening was also higher, whereas no significant differences were found related to passive aggression (hindering) or
verbal emotional acts (shouting, being furious, or showing rage). In certain situations a rather striking prevalence among
girls was observed. In conclusion, young delinquents showed a higher justification of aggression, notably of its most
drastic physical forms, in virtually all situations.