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Aggression

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					Aggression: Sibling and Peer
Relationships:

  Pro-social and anti-social influences
         through adolescence
Questions
   In the relational model, what is the function of
    aggression and what determines whether there will
    be reconciliation?
   Describe genetic and environmental factors that
    could influence the stability of aggressive
    behaviors
   Describe similarities in attachment representations
    of parents, peers, and intimate partners.
   What is relational victimization?
Kiss to make-up

                  Fig. 2. Chimpanzees
                  typically seal a
                  postconflict reunion,
                  or reconciliation, with
                  a mouth-to-mouth
                  kiss, as here by a
                  female (right) to the
                  dominant male.
                  Aggression
                  De Waal, F. B. M. (2000).
                  Primates--a natural
                  heritage of conflict
                  resolution. Science,
                  289(5479), 586-590.
Most primates show a dramatic increase in body contact between
former opponents during post conflict (PC) as compared with
matched-control (MC) observations



                                          The cumulative
                                          percentage of opponent-
                                          pairs seeking friendly
                                          contact during a 10-min
                                          time window after
                                          670 spontaneous
                                          aggressive incidents in a
                                          zoo group of stumptail
                                          macaques
Reconciliations allow rhesus monkeys to maintain tight
kinship bonds despite frequent intrafamilial squabbles.


                                    Shortly after two adult
                                    sisters bit each other, they
                                    reunite sitting on the left
                                    and right of their mother,
                                    the alpha female of the
                                    troop, each female holding
                                    her own infant. The sisters
                                    smack their lips while the
                                    matriarch loudly grunts.
    Relational model. aggressive behavior is one of several
    ways in which conflicts of interest can be settled.




    Other possible ways are tolerance (e.g., sharing of
    resources), or avoidance of confrontation (e.g., by
    subordinates to dominants).
I
f
      Reconciliation




    The nature of the social relationship determines whether repair
    attempts will be made, or not.
    If there is a strong mutual interest in maintenance of the
    relationship, reconciliation is most likely.
    Parties negotiate the terms of their relationship by going through
    cycles of conflict and reconciliation.
I
f
Weaning

           A weaning compromise
          has been arrived at
          between a mother
          chimpanzee and her 4-
          year-old son. After
          repeated nursing
          conflicts, the son is
          permitted to suck on a
          part of the mother's body
          other than the nipple.
Human aggression
 Types
 Reactive and proactive aggression
 Overt and covert anti-social behavior
Processes
   Under-socialized aggressive conduct
    disorder associated with weak inhibition
    system (BIS)
    –   Impulsivity a key (Quay)
   Information Processing
    –   Real-time processes
          Somebody   bumps into you at a party
Temperament and aggression

     Difficult temperament associated with aggression
      –   Aggression can lead to rejection
      –   Low levels of positive behaviors
      –   Report less socially competent, but only if shy
      –   Rejection and aggression negatively impact academic
          performance and predict dropping out
              Though some drop-outs are socially competent and
               popular
Families

 –   Stronger attachment effects in low SES
 –   Parental warmth
       Avoiding   punitiveness
 –   Avoiding coercive family processes
       Parentalintrusion, child aversive response, parent
       backs off, child stops response
Real-time coercion
   For example, a parent–child dyad
    may have developed two main
    interaction patterns: a cooperative,
    mutually positive pattern and a
    hostile–withdrawn pattern in which
    the parent berates the child and the
    child ignores the parent. As mutual
    positivity declines in early
    adolescence, existing habits of
    withdrawal will constrain the
    interactions that emerge next. A
    repertoire of distance and
    disengagement may
   characterize the adolescent period,
    leading eventually to complete
    estrangement and alienation in
    adulthood.
                                           (Granic & Patterson, 2006).
Stability
 The earlier a person start, the more intense
  the form of aggression and the longer it
  lasts
 Stability of aggression can be as high as .76
    –   Remarkably stable over up to 10 years (801)
    –   The aggressive remain so
   One of the more stable psychological
    characteristics
Other factors
   Impulsivity + coercive familial interactions
    + peer processes
    –   Peer rejection + deviant peer group
Granic & Patterson, 2006
Behavior genetics
   One inherits a propensity toward anti-
    sociality which interacts with an
    environment in its (non)emergence
    –   Genetic effects greater for self-reported than
        adjudicated measures of aggression
          What   does that mean?
    –   Environmental, genetic, and interactive effects
        evident in petty crime (806)
Environmental impacts: TV
   Age 8 TV violence viewing predicts self-
    reported aggression and arrests at age 30
    after statistical controls
    –   TV accounts for 10% of child aggression
        variance in meta-analyses



    –   Videogames? The armed forces?
Relational aggression
   “attempts to harm the victim through the
    manipulation of relationships, threat of damage to
    them, or both” (Crick et al, ’02 p.98)
   Associated with internalizing/externalizing
    problems and later peer rejection
   Is relational aggression a cause for concern or part
    of everyday life?
   Are some people more impacted by relational
    aggression?
Development
 Pre-school
 Elementary school
 Middle school
 High school / Adolescence …
Provocation  aggression
   Physically aggressive children exhibited hostile
    attributional biases and reported relatively greater
    distress for instrumental provocation situations
    –   Getting pushed into the mud
   Relationally aggressive children exhibited hostile
    attributional biases and reported relatively greater
    distress for relational provocation contexts
    –   Not getting invited to a birthday party.

    –   662 third- to sixth-grade children
            Crick et al., 2002. CD.
Aggression type and gender
   Boys more physically victimized by their friends.
   Girls more relationally victimized.
   Friend physical victimization was particularly
    related to boys adjustment difficulties
   Friend relational victimization was particularly
    related to girls’ adjustment difficulties.
    –   Crick & Nelson, 2002.
Toward a More Comprehensive Understanding of Peer
  Maltreatment: Studies of Relational Victimization
                     (Crick, Casas, & Nelson, 2002)
• Relational victimization
   – Being the target of extreme aggressive behavior defined
     through the “manipulation of relationships, threat of damage to
     them, or both”
   – More likely to involve girls

• Developmental changes of RV
   – Cross-sectional
                       • Direct, face-to face behaviors
        Preschool      • Exclusion from party

                       • More sophisticated, direct and indirect behaviors
         Middle          • Direct: refuse to choose as a team member
        Childhood        • Indirect: spread a rumor

                       • Sophisticated and focused on opposite-sex relationships
       Adolescence       • Stealing a boyfriend
                                        Kolnick
• Gender differences
  – Girls appear to be more victimized, but mixed findings
  – 2 issues to consider
     • Victimization in girls easier to see when looking at RV
     • Consequences may be worse for girls

• RV and social psychological harm: 2 approaches
  – Children describe aggression
     • RV most commonly cited aggressive act
  – RV → adjustment
     • Concurrent associations
         – Poor peer relationships
         – Internalizing problems
         – Externalizing problems
     • Longitudinal associations
         – Future peer rejection

                                   Kolnick
                 Future directions
• Important to find factors that predict individual difference
  in risk to exposure and risk for developing sequelae
   – Suggests aversive family environments

• Future studies
   –   Longitudinal studies
   –   Observational studies
   –   Comparisons of observations and other methods
   –   Chronicity/severity of RV
   –   Factors → RV
   –   RV → outcomes
   –   Impact of SIP cycle
   –   Context of different peer groups

                               Kolnick
Gender role development
Gender segregation
   Research on gender typing in individuals is
    inconclusive
    –   Clustering of gender-typed characteristics weak
    –   Relations to family characteristics weak
   Same-sex groupings predominate
    –   From 3 – 12,
    –   Cross-cultural phenomenon
Same-sex groupings
   Boys
    –   Larger groups
    –   More conflict/competition
    –   Cohesiveness
    –   More autonomous from adults
   Girls
    –   Smaller, more dyadic
    –   Less conflict, more responsive
    –   Less goal-oriented, more intimate
   Differential exposure to these groups influences
    individual behavior
Change
   12th grade
    –   Boys 5 hrs a week w girls.
    –   Girls 10 hrs a week w boys.
   Larger network of other-sex friends
    increases odds of romantic relationship
Changing functions of romance
   Adolescents mention affiliative features
        Adolescent romantic relationships are peer
        relationships


   Young adults mention trust & support
Methods
 Movement from questionnaire to interview
  and observational data
 Integrate romance and sexuality

				
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