The Dynamic Interplay of Attachment and Temperament in Relation to Dimensions of Aggression
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The current study examined whether overt and relational forms of reactive and proactive aggression were differentially related to adolescents’ temperament and attachment security. Measures of adolescents’ temperament, attachment security, and aggression were completed by 211 adolescents, ages 10–14, and their caregivers. Attachment security was consistently associated with all four dimensions of aggression, whereas proneness to frustration was found to be uniquely associated with reactive-overt aggression. Additionally, it was found that at lower levels of effortful control more secure attachment was related to lower levels of reactive-relational aggression. Results also indicated that, for girls, the relation between attachment and proactive-overt and proactive-relational aggression was only significant when effortful control was low. Conversely, for boys, the relation between attachment and proactive-overt aggression and proactive-relational aggression was significant when effortful control was high. Implications of these findings and limitations to the current study are discussed.