Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
This study investigated romantic attachment style as a potential moderator of the link between family aggression and dating aggression, and examined its relations with documented mediators of the impact of interparental conﬂict on dating behavior: attitudes about the justiﬁability of aggression and anger regulation. Participants were 391 ethnically diverse 14-to 18-year-olds (52% female). Attachment style was a signiﬁcant moderator for boys and girls, but the pattern of results differed by gender. In general, attachment anxiety was a more consistent predictor than avoidance of boys’ dating aggression, cognitions, and emotions, whereas anxiety and avoidance both acted as signiﬁcant moderators for girls. These results suggest that youths’ romantic attachment style can amplify or attenuate the impact of family aggression on abusive behavior in dating relationships by inﬂuencing their beliefs about the acceptability of aggression and their ability to regulate anger.