Relations between forms and functions of aggression, psychopathy, and victimization and moral judgments of aggressive transgressions
Hart, Emily J.
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The present study sought to examine the influence of aggressive behavior, psychopathy, victimization, and gender on moral judgments of aggressive transgressions. A two-dimensional conceptualization of aggression was used, such that proactive relational aggression, reactive relational aggression, proactive physical aggression, and reactive physical aggression were treated as distinct subtypes of aggression and also distinct subtypes of moral judgments of aggression. Participants were 421 emerging adults (215 women; M age = 19.52; SD age = 1.07). Self-report measures of aggression, victimization, psychopathy, and moral judgments were collected. Peer-reports of aggression, victimization, and psychopathy were obtained from a randomly assigned subsample of 73 participants (46 women; M age = 19.52; SD age = 1.18) for validity purposes. Unique associations were found between subtypes of aggression and corresponding moral judgments of the same subtypes. Support for hypothesized main effects of psychopathy and victimization, as well as interaction effects, was not found. There was an unexpected main effect of relational victimization on moral judgments of proactive physical aggression and several unexpected interaction effects. Results are discussed with regard to potential reporting bias issues and clinical implications.