Maladaptive emotion regulation and aggression in adult offenders




Terri Roberton, Michael Daffern & Romola S. Bucks

Psychology, Crime & Law

07 Mar 2014



Many empirical studies have explored the relationship between anger dysregulation and aggression; few have explored the association between emotion regulation more generally and aggressive behavior in adults. This study sought to determine whether adaptive emotion regulation was associated with aggression in adult offenders, and whether proficiency in three emotion skills emotional awareness, emotional acceptance, and access to a variety of emotion regulation strategies was related to adaptive emotion regulation. Results suggest that offenders with a maladaptive emotion regulation style reported more extensive histories of aggression than those with an adaptive emotion regulation style. It was also found that self-reported emotional awareness and access to effective emotion regulation strategies contributed to adaptive emotion regulation. These findings indicate the potential utility of including emotion-related modules in treatment programs for violent offending populations.