The World Health Organization has recognized aggressive behavior and violence in adolescence as a global public health problem. This study examined a Dual-Pathway Model that theorizes two pathways through which self-control skills (SCS) may relate to aggression by focusing on two potential mediating cognitive variables: perceived subjective happiness and time perspective (i.e., one’s view of past, present, and future experiences). A sample of 2982 Israeli adolescents (50% boys aged 11–17) completed a battery of questionnaires including SCS, subjective happiness, time perspective, hostility, anger, and physical aggression. The results of a path analysis with the bootstrap method for testing indirect effects indicated a series of variables forming two mediation chains. In the protective pathway, SCS linked positively to happiness that in turn negatively linked with hostility, anger, and physical aggression. At the same time, in the risk factors pathway, SCS linked negatively to unbalanced time perspective that in turn was linked with hostility, anger, and physical aggression. Gender differences were also found, with girls scoring significantly higher than boys on SCS and boys scoring significantly higher than girls on the physical aggression. The results lend initial credence to a Dual-Pathway Model, which may be beneficial in practical interventions geared to help adolescents with low SCS to become not only happier but also more temporally balanced and, ultimately, less aggressive.
- Time perspective