Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Eric Dahlen, Ph.D.

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Dr. Bonnie Nicholson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Dr. Micheal Madson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Abstract

Relational aggression (RA) has been linked to a number of serious problems for all age ranges, especially in young children, adolescents, and emerging adults. Elevated trait anger appears to be positively related to both peer and romantic RA, and there is some evidence that difficulties with emotion regulation are positively associated with RA as well. The present study investigated the role of emotion regulation as a potential moderator of the relationship between trait anger and RA in a college student sample (N = 307) while taking general negative affect into account. As expected, trait anger was a positive predictor of peer RA after accounting for general negative affect. Also, as predicted, difficulties in emotion regulation were positively related to peer RA. Contrary to what was expected, difficulties in emotion regulation did not moderate the relationship between trait anger and peer RA while accounting for general negative affect. Additional research is needed to better understand why emotion regulation did not help to specify the conditions under which trait anger is related to RA.

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