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Shaping aggressive personality in adolescence: Exploring cross-lagged relations between aggressive thoughts, aggressive behaviour and self-control


Murray, A; Obsuth, I; Eisner, M; Ribeaud, Denis (2016). Shaping aggressive personality in adolescence: Exploring cross-lagged relations between aggressive thoughts, aggressive behaviour and self-control. Personality and Individual Differences, 97:1-7.

Abstract

Aggressive ideations can be defined as thoughts, daydreams or fantasies of harming another. They feature intheoretical models of aggressive behaviour causation and are used in violence risk assessments. Little isknown, however, about long term relations between aggressive ideations, aggressive behaviour and relatedvariables such as self-control. We examined cross-lagged associations between these variables in the most recenttwo waves of the Zurich project on social development (z-proso) when the participants were aged 15 and 17. Wefound that aggressive ideations were highly stable across this time span. The only significant cross-lagged effectswere between aggressive behaviour at age 15 and self-control and aggressive ideations at age 17. Results are consis-tent with the strength model of self-control in which changes in specific self-controlled behaviour can producegeneralised changes in self-control. They are also consistent with the hypothesis that aggressive ideations aremore a reaction to or a reflection of shared causes with, rather than a cause of, aggressive behaviour. Future studiesshould aim to integrate measurements across short and long time scales in order to further understand the causalinteractions between aggressive ideations and behaviours as they play out across at the state and trait level.

Abstract

Aggressive ideations can be defined as thoughts, daydreams or fantasies of harming another. They feature intheoretical models of aggressive behaviour causation and are used in violence risk assessments. Little isknown, however, about long term relations between aggressive ideations, aggressive behaviour and relatedvariables such as self-control. We examined cross-lagged associations between these variables in the most recenttwo waves of the Zurich project on social development (z-proso) when the participants were aged 15 and 17. Wefound that aggressive ideations were highly stable across this time span. The only significant cross-lagged effectswere between aggressive behaviour at age 15 and self-control and aggressive ideations at age 17. Results are consis-tent with the strength model of self-control in which changes in specific self-controlled behaviour can producegeneralised changes in self-control. They are also consistent with the hypothesis that aggressive ideations aremore a reaction to or a reflection of shared causes with, rather than a cause of, aggressive behaviour. Future studiesshould aim to integrate measurements across short and long time scales in order to further understand the causalinteractions between aggressive ideations and behaviours as they play out across at the state and trait level.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:08 Aug 2019 09:02
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:20
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0191-8869
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.03.022

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