Emotion regulation and aggression

Terri Roberton, Michael David Daffern, Romola S Bucks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


This review considers the impact of deliberate emotion regulation on aggression, by integrating findings from recent emotion regulation research with a contemporary model of aggressive behavior, the General Aggression Model. First, it considers how individuals who under-regulate anger and other emotions may be more likely to behave aggressively in an attempt to repair, terminate, or avoid uncomfortable emotional states. Second, it explores how over-regulation of emotion may lead to aggressive behavior by increasing negative affect, reducing inhibitions against aggression, compromising decision making processes, diminishing social networks, increasing physiological arousal and hindering the resolution of difficult situations. Finally, it reviews three skills thought to underlie deliberate emotion regulation: emotional awareness, emotional acceptance and proficiency in a variety of emotion regulation strategies. Treatment encompassing all of these skills may improve an individual s ability to regulate difficult emotion states more adaptively and thereby lessen aggressive behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72 - 82
Number of pages11
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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