The Role of Generalised and Relationship-Specific Attachment in Anger and Aggression
thesisposted on 26.07.2010, 15:50 by Claire Alexia Jane Bloxsom
Aims: The aim of this research is to examine the relationship between generalised and relationship-specific attachment anxiety and avoidance and anger arousal, anger cognition and overt and covert aggression in males, females, and in young male violent offenders. Methods: Five studies are presented. One hundred and nine males, 123 females, and twenty-nine violent male offenders participated in this research. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess attachment style, anger, and aggression. Data were analysed by using correlation, multiple regression, and quantitative case studies. Results: The studies presented in this thesis are the first to explore attachment from a generalised paradigm in the context of anger and aggression and also in the context of anger mediation. Results indicate that generalised attachment anxiety is a significant correlate of anger and aggression in both male and female non-offenders. Results also indicate that generalised attachment anxiety is more related to anger and aggression in male and female non-offenders than generalised attachment avoidance. These findings also provide evidence for the role of anger as a mediator between generalised attachment anxiety and aggression in both male and female non-offenders. Results from the quantitative case studies show that non-offending males and females who selfreported high levels of aggression score moderately or highly in both relationshipspecific attachment anxiety and/or avoidance. Results from the male violent offender sample indicate that generalised and relationship-specific attachment avoidance, particularly attachment avoidance to the parents, were the key correlates of anger and aggression rather than generalised and relationship-specific attachment anxiety.