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01-10-2008 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 9/2008

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 9/2008

The Utility of Forms and Functions of Aggression in Emerging Adulthood: Association with Personality Disorder Symptomatology

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 9/2008
Auteurs:
Jamie M. Ostrov, Rebecca J. Houston

Abstract

A sample of 679 (341 women) emerging adults (M = 18.90 years; SD = 1.11; range = 18.00–22.92) participated in a study on the utility of forms (i.e., physical and relational) and functions (i.e., proactive and reactive) of aggression. We examined the link between these four subtypes of aggression and personality pathology (i.e., psychopathic features, borderline personality disorder features, and antisocial personality disorder features). The study supports the psychometric properties (i.e., test–retest reliability, internal consistency, discriminant validity) of a recently introduced measure of forms and functions of aggression during emerging adulthood. Aggression subtypes were uniquely associated with indices of personality pathology. For example, proactive (i.e., planned, instrumental or goal-oriented) and reactive (i.e., impulsive, hostile or retaliatory) functions of relational aggression were uniquely associated with borderline personality disorder features even after controlling for functions of physical aggression and gender. The results highlight the differential associations between forms and functions of aggression and indices of personality pathology in typically developing emerging adults.

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