Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Psychologists discover links between angry thoughts and displaced aggression in male gang affiliates

Date:
July 12, 2012
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
Research conducted among pupils in three London schools has shown that male street gang affiliates who engage in angry rumination (i.e. think continuously about provoking or negative events and situations) have the greatest tendency towards displaced aggression against innocent others.

Research conducted among pupils in three London schools has shown that male street gang affiliates who engage in angry rumination (i.e. think continuously about provoking or negative events and situations) have the greatest tendency towards displaced aggression against innocent others.

This is partly because angry rumination can provide an opportunity for revenge planning and fantasizing, as well as justifying the anger that a person feels, which can make provoked persons feel better. As a result, the desire and motivation for revenge is maintained, prolonged or exacerbated, and ruminating individuals are more likely to be primed with aggressive tendencies.

The research, which was conducted by psychologist Dr Eduardo Vasquez and colleagues at the University of Kent, also concluded that angry rumination could be the psychological path that links gang affiliation to displaced aggression. In other words, if rumination did not occur, displaced aggression might be reduced in gang affiliates. Furthermore, their study showed that rumination is an important predictor of displaced aggression above and beyond other personality characteristics such as trait aggression, anger, hostility, and irritability.

Dr Vasquez, an expert on aggressive behavior and inter-gang violence, explained that ruminating about provoking incidents 'can prime individuals for aggressive responding and facilitates not only direct retaliation against a provocateur, but also displaced aggression toward innocent targets. This is because aggressive priming makes individuals perceive more hostility from others and increases the motivation to lash out, especially if they encounter a safe target, such as a sibling or romantic partner, who might not retaliate in a severe manner.

'Therefore, gang-affiliated youth may be at an increased risk of engaging in displaced aggression as they are more likely to encounter provoking situations and spend more time thinking about aggression-related ideas, such as revenge and getting even.'

Dr Vasquez, who lectures in forensic psychology at the University's School of Psychology, also explained that the team's findings suggest that gang affiliated youth might not aggress simply as a function of highly aggressive personalities. 'Rather, they may be part of a population that is more likely to experience situations that produce a wide range of aggressive behaviors,' he said. 'For instance, their tendency to experience aversive events and to ruminate increases the likelihood that gang-affiliated youth will aggress, even in the absence of proper subsequent justification.'

This research by Dr Vasquez and colleagues is important in that it has also revealed that one promising route for reducing aggression and violence within male street gang affiliates involves developing interventions that focus on decreasing rumination. This may include 'distraction techniques' such as exercise or sporting activity and listening to music. Other types of activities that might prove useful against ruminating include meditation and relaxation techniques, hobbies or reading. 'Such distractions,' he said, 'regulate negative affect by keeping negative thought from being readily accessible and/or by drawing the focus of attention away from negative moods.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eduardo A. Vasquez, Sarah Osman and Jane L. Wood, School of Psychology, University of Kent. Rumination and the Displacement of Aggression in United Kingdom Gang-Affiliated Youth. Aggressive Behavior, Volume 38, pages 89%u201397 (2012)

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Psychologists discover links between angry thoughts and displaced aggression in male gang affiliates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120712092429.htm>.
University of Kent. (2012, July 12). Psychologists discover links between angry thoughts and displaced aggression in male gang affiliates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120712092429.htm
University of Kent. "Psychologists discover links between angry thoughts and displaced aggression in male gang affiliates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120712092429.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins