• THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PHYSIOLOGICAL REACTIVITY TO PROVOCATION AND EMOTION DYSREGULATION WITH PROACTIVE AND AFFECTIVE AGGRESSION

      McCloskey, Michael S.; Drabick, Deborah A.; Giovannetti, Tania; Chen, Eunice Y.; Fauber, Robert L.; Wright, Harold J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)
      Biological theory proposes that autonomic nervous system (ANS) hypo-reactivity may be more specific to proactive aggression, while ANS hyper-reactivity may be specific to affective aggression. However, the literature finds mixed support, which may be because no study to date has concurrently examined emotion dysregulation, a highly related variable, as a potential moderator. The present study examined these relationships in 76 undergraduate participants (29 men, mean age = 21.49) who identified as Caucasian (51%), African-American (23%), Asian (21%), or Other (5%). Participants completed questionnaires, a resting state task, and a provocation task. Results found that blunted overall ANS reactivity was associated with proactive aggression. Emotion dysregulation moderated the relationship between parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) reactivity with both proactive (at a trending level for SNS reactivity) and affective aggression. Specifically, among those slightly above average and high on emotion dysregulation, PNS augmentation and blunted SNS reactivity were associated with proactive and affective aggression, respectively. In contrast, among those low on emotion dysregulation, PNS augmentation was associated with decreased affective aggression. Thus, among those elevated on emotion dysregulation, it may be beneficial to teach counter-regulatory strategies to reduce the impact of ANS hypo-reactivity on aggression (across function).