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30-07-2016 | Uitgave 1/2017

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 1/2017

Psychopathy and Functions of Aggression in Emerging Adulthood: Moderation by Anger Rumination and Gender

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 1/2017
Auteurs:
Roberto C. Guerra, Bradley A. White

Abstract

Psychopathy has been previously identified as a risk factor for aggression (Porter and Woodworth 2006). However, few studies have considered specific relationships with functional subtypes of aggression, or how gender and anger rumination affect these relationships in emerging adulthood. We hypothesized that primary psychopathy would be uniquely related to proactive aggression (PA) and secondary psychopathy to reactive aggression (RA), and that these relationships would be amplified by anger rumination, and potentially influenced further by gender. Undergraduate students (N = 610; 73.3 % female) ages 18–20 completed self-report measures of anger rumination, psychopathy, and aggression, and hypotheses were tested using hierarchical regression. As predicted, anger rumination enhanced the association between secondary psychopathy and RA. It also amplified the relationship between primary psychopathy and PA, but only at very high levels of anger rumination. Gender moderated interactions between primary and secondary psychopathy on aggression. For men, primary psychopathy attenuated the secondary psychopathy – RA relationship, but not for women. These findings fill an important gap in the literature by demonstrating how tendencies to ruminate on anger and psychopathic traits interact to influence functional subtypes of aggression in young men versus women.

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