Emotion regulation and aggression: The incremental contribution of alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation facets

C. Garofalo, Patrizia Velotti, Giulio Cesare Zavattini

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Abstract

Objective:
Prior research has long emphasized the role of alexithymia and impulsivity to explain aggressive tendencies. Recently, a growing body of research seems to support the relevance of the broader construct of emotion dysregulation to understand aggression. The present study was the first to comprehensively examine the relative contribution of, and the mechanisms linking alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation in predicting aggression dimensions. Method:
Male violent offenders (N = 221) and community participants (N = 245) completed multifaceted self-report measures of alexithymia, impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, and aggression. Regression analyses tested the independent contribution of each facet on aggression dimensions. Bootstrap analyses examined the indirect effect of alexithymia on aggression through emotion dysregulation and impulsivity.
Results:
Offenders reported higher levels of difficulties identifying feelings, emotional nonacceptance, physical aggression, and hostility. Difficulties in identifying and describing feelings, and motor and attentional impulsivity, explained unique variance in physical aggression, anger, and hostility in both samples, and also in verbal aggression among community participants. In both samples, negative urgency and emotional nonacceptance explained additional variance in aggression dimensions above and beyond the influence of alexithymia and impulsivity. Emotion dysregulation and impulsivity mediated the relation between alexithymia and aggression in both samples, with emotion dysregulation demonstrating a relatively stronger effect.
Conclusions:
Findings emphasize the unique relevance of alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation facets in explaining aggressive tendencies. Clinical implications include the importance of focusing on emotion regulation skills-such as accepting emotions and do not act on them-to reduce aggression tendencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-483
JournalPsychology of Violence
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint

Affective Symptoms
Impulsive Behavior
aggression
emotion
Hostility
offender
anger
Self Report
community

Keywords

  • ASSOCIATIONS
  • BEHAVIOR
  • BORDERLINE PERSONALITY-DISORDER
  • CROSS-VALIDATION
  • DIFFICULTIES
  • ITALIAN VERSION
  • MODELS
  • QUESTIONNAIRE
  • REGULATION SCALE
  • VIOLENT OFFENDERS
  • anger
  • hostility
  • negative urgency
  • offenders
  • violence

Cite this

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title = "Emotion regulation and aggression: The incremental contribution of alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation facets",
abstract = "Objective: Prior research has long emphasized the role of alexithymia and impulsivity to explain aggressive tendencies. Recently, a growing body of research seems to support the relevance of the broader construct of emotion dysregulation to understand aggression. The present study was the first to comprehensively examine the relative contribution of, and the mechanisms linking alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation in predicting aggression dimensions. Method: Male violent offenders (N = 221) and community participants (N = 245) completed multifaceted self-report measures of alexithymia, impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, and aggression. Regression analyses tested the independent contribution of each facet on aggression dimensions. Bootstrap analyses examined the indirect effect of alexithymia on aggression through emotion dysregulation and impulsivity. Results: Offenders reported higher levels of difficulties identifying feelings, emotional nonacceptance, physical aggression, and hostility. Difficulties in identifying and describing feelings, and motor and attentional impulsivity, explained unique variance in physical aggression, anger, and hostility in both samples, and also in verbal aggression among community participants. In both samples, negative urgency and emotional nonacceptance explained additional variance in aggression dimensions above and beyond the influence of alexithymia and impulsivity. Emotion dysregulation and impulsivity mediated the relation between alexithymia and aggression in both samples, with emotion dysregulation demonstrating a relatively stronger effect. Conclusions: Findings emphasize the unique relevance of alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation facets in explaining aggressive tendencies. Clinical implications include the importance of focusing on emotion regulation skills-such as accepting emotions and do not act on them-to reduce aggression tendencies.",
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author = "C. Garofalo and Patrizia Velotti and Zavattini, {Giulio Cesare}",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1037/vio0000141",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "470--483",
journal = "Psychology of Violence",
issn = "2152-0828",
publisher = "American Psychological Association",
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Emotion regulation and aggression : The incremental contribution of alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation facets. / Garofalo, C.; Velotti, Patrizia; Zavattini, Giulio Cesare.

In: Psychology of Violence, Vol. 8, No. 4, 2018, p. 470-483.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Emotion regulation and aggression

T2 - The incremental contribution of alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation facets

AU - Garofalo, C.

AU - Velotti, Patrizia

AU - Zavattini, Giulio Cesare

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Objective: Prior research has long emphasized the role of alexithymia and impulsivity to explain aggressive tendencies. Recently, a growing body of research seems to support the relevance of the broader construct of emotion dysregulation to understand aggression. The present study was the first to comprehensively examine the relative contribution of, and the mechanisms linking alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation in predicting aggression dimensions. Method: Male violent offenders (N = 221) and community participants (N = 245) completed multifaceted self-report measures of alexithymia, impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, and aggression. Regression analyses tested the independent contribution of each facet on aggression dimensions. Bootstrap analyses examined the indirect effect of alexithymia on aggression through emotion dysregulation and impulsivity. Results: Offenders reported higher levels of difficulties identifying feelings, emotional nonacceptance, physical aggression, and hostility. Difficulties in identifying and describing feelings, and motor and attentional impulsivity, explained unique variance in physical aggression, anger, and hostility in both samples, and also in verbal aggression among community participants. In both samples, negative urgency and emotional nonacceptance explained additional variance in aggression dimensions above and beyond the influence of alexithymia and impulsivity. Emotion dysregulation and impulsivity mediated the relation between alexithymia and aggression in both samples, with emotion dysregulation demonstrating a relatively stronger effect. Conclusions: Findings emphasize the unique relevance of alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation facets in explaining aggressive tendencies. Clinical implications include the importance of focusing on emotion regulation skills-such as accepting emotions and do not act on them-to reduce aggression tendencies.

AB - Objective: Prior research has long emphasized the role of alexithymia and impulsivity to explain aggressive tendencies. Recently, a growing body of research seems to support the relevance of the broader construct of emotion dysregulation to understand aggression. The present study was the first to comprehensively examine the relative contribution of, and the mechanisms linking alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation in predicting aggression dimensions. Method: Male violent offenders (N = 221) and community participants (N = 245) completed multifaceted self-report measures of alexithymia, impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, and aggression. Regression analyses tested the independent contribution of each facet on aggression dimensions. Bootstrap analyses examined the indirect effect of alexithymia on aggression through emotion dysregulation and impulsivity. Results: Offenders reported higher levels of difficulties identifying feelings, emotional nonacceptance, physical aggression, and hostility. Difficulties in identifying and describing feelings, and motor and attentional impulsivity, explained unique variance in physical aggression, anger, and hostility in both samples, and also in verbal aggression among community participants. In both samples, negative urgency and emotional nonacceptance explained additional variance in aggression dimensions above and beyond the influence of alexithymia and impulsivity. Emotion dysregulation and impulsivity mediated the relation between alexithymia and aggression in both samples, with emotion dysregulation demonstrating a relatively stronger effect. Conclusions: Findings emphasize the unique relevance of alexithymia, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation facets in explaining aggressive tendencies. Clinical implications include the importance of focusing on emotion regulation skills-such as accepting emotions and do not act on them-to reduce aggression tendencies.

KW - ASSOCIATIONS

KW - BEHAVIOR

KW - BORDERLINE PERSONALITY-DISORDER

KW - CROSS-VALIDATION

KW - DIFFICULTIES

KW - ITALIAN VERSION

KW - MODELS

KW - QUESTIONNAIRE

KW - REGULATION SCALE

KW - VIOLENT OFFENDERS

KW - anger

KW - hostility

KW - negative urgency

KW - offenders

KW - violence

U2 - 10.1037/vio0000141

DO - 10.1037/vio0000141

M3 - Article

VL - 8

SP - 470

EP - 483

JO - Psychology of Violence

JF - Psychology of Violence

SN - 2152-0828

IS - 4

ER -