Emotion dysregulation, negative affect, and aggression: A moderated, multiple mediator analysis
VISN 20 NW MIRECC, Portland VA Medical Center
Citation of Original Publication
Donahue, J. J., Goranson, A. C., McClure, K. S., & Van Male, L. M. (2014). Emotion dysregulation, negative affect, and aggression: A moderated, multiple mediator analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 70, 23-28.
Research on violence has highlighted the role of trait negative affect in reactive aggressive behavior. Emotion dysregulation is a multidimensional construct reflecting maladaptive ways in which a person experiences and responds to emotional states, and has also been empirically linked to aggression. This study sought to test the hypothesis that multiple facets of emotion dysregulation would mediate the relationship between negative affect and physical aggression in a nonclinical sample. An additional aim was to examine the moderating effect of sex in the relationship between negative affect and aggression, and whether mediators differ as a function of sex. Three-hundred and eighteen participants completed measures of physical aggression, difficulties in emotion regulation, and negative affect. Results showed that sex moderated the relationship between negative affect and physical aggression, and emotion dysregulation fully mediated the relationship between these variables in both males and females. While difficulty inhibiting impulsive behavior when distressed was a significant mediator across sexes, difficulties with emotional awareness demonstrated a mediation effect only in males. Findings provide preliminary support for the facets of emotion dysregulation that are important in understanding the negative affect – physical aggression association in males and females.