Multiple Mediators for Peer-Directed Aggression and Happiness in Arab Adolescents Exposed to Parent–child Aggression

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Abstract

This study aimed to examine a multi-mediator model explaining how exposure to parent-child physical aggression may link with adolescents’ peer-directed physical aggression and their own subjective happiness, in an understudied Israeli Arab population. Mediators included hostility, anger, need to belong, and self-control. Arab adolescents from northern Israel (N = 155; 62 % girls, aged 16-17) completed questionnaires regarding parents’ physical violence toward them, their own aggression toward peers, need to belong, happiness, positive emotions, and selfcontrol skills. (a) Parent-child physical aggression linked positively with peerdirected aggression through the mediating associations of hostility with anger; (b) parent-child physical aggression linked negatively with peer-directed aggression and happiness through the mediation of adolescents’ increased need to belong; and (c) parent-child physical aggression was not directly linked with self-control, but selfcontrol directly linked negatively with peer-directed aggression and positively with happiness. Findings highlight pathways through which parent-child physical aggression may simultaneously influence adolescents’ aggressive behavior and happiness. The mediation detected possible process variables (e.g., yearning for belonging, self-control skills, hostile thoughts, and angry feelings) that researchers and clinicians can consider in designing prevention and treatment interventions to break the inter-generational cycle of violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-803
Number of pages19
JournalChild Indicators Research
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Happiness
  • Israeli Arabs
  • Need to belong
  • Parent-child physical aggression
  • Peer-directed aggression
  • Positive emotions
  • Self-control

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