Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Source Publication

Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma

Abstract

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.

Comments

Accepted version. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma, Vol. 19 (Fall 2010), DOI: 10.1080/10926771.2010.502068. Used with permission. © Taylor & Francis 2010.