Appetitive aggression in offending youths: Contributions of callous unemotional traits and violent cognitive patterns
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Appetitive aggression, marked by the derivation of positive affect from harming others has been observed mostly among youths in societies experiencing extreme violence. Perpetrators report craving violence, and find the process and actual infliction of harm relishing. Because this dimension of aggression is relatively new, studies have barely examined likely psychological correlates of this phenomenon. In this study, we considered the associations between callous-unemotional (CU) traits as well as violent cognition, with appetitive aggression in young offenders. Male youth offenders (n = 188) from 2 detention facilities in Northern and the Niger Delta regions of Nigeria completed measures of appetitive aggression, CU traits, and violent-supportive cognition. Demographic information regarding their offences were collected from official records and corroborated with self-reports. CU traits were related to the perpetration of appetitive aggression. Offenders who endorsed machismo beliefs that portrays aggression as a masculine characteristic and a fitting response to threats were more likely to report the enjoyment of aggression. There was a mediation effect of machismo thinking on the relationship between CU traits and appetitive aggression. The study finds that, like other known types of aggression, CU traits and machismo thinking are associated with appetitive aggression, and invites future studies to investigate other correlates of this pattern of aggression.
Orjiakor, C.T., Weierstall, R., Bowes, N., Eze, J.E., Ibeagha, P.N. and Obi, P.C. (2020) 'Appetitive aggression in offending youths: Contributions of callous unemotional traits and violent cognitive patterns', Current Psychology.
Article published in Current Psychology on 01 May 2020, available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-020-00759-4.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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