Aggression in Physically Abused Children

The Interactive Role of Emotion Regulation
  • Angela Scarpa
Part of the Nato ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 292)


While child physical abuse is related to a heightened risk of aggression, the majority of abused children do not become aggressive (Widom, 1989). Factors which put some physically abused children at increased risk for aggressive behavior remain to be clarified. A transactional, biopsychosocial model of development suggests that aggressive behavior problems arise when intrinsic child vulnerabilities interact with a nonoptimal environment (Sanson, Smart, Prior, & Oberklaid, 1993). Internalizing problems, such as anxiety and depression, have been found to be markedly higher in youth with vs. without conduct disorder (Hinshaw, Lahey, & Hart, 1993). This suggests that vulnerability to emotional distress (i.e., emotion dysregulation) may be one intrinsic child vulnerability related to later aggression.


Aggressive Behavior Emotion Regulation Emotion Dysregulation Physically Abuse Child Transactional Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Scarpa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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