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The Role of Generalised and Relationship-Specific Attachment in Anger and Aggression

By Claire Alexia Jane Bloxsom


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

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/8277

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