Family-of-origin aggression, dating aggression, and physiological stress reactivity in daily life
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Individuals exposed to aggression and who perpetrate aggression against others show differences in their physiological activation during stress; the goal of the present study is to investigate physiological stress reactivity as a factor contributing to the intergenerational transmission of aggression. To test associations between family-of-origin aggression (FOA), physiological reactivity in daily life, and dating aggression perpetration, we used ecological momentary assessment to monitor fluctuations in young adult (Mage = 23.1 years) dating couples' electrodermal activity (EDA) over an entire day and examined how naturally-occurring bouts of annoyance between partners relate to EDA, FOA, and dating aggression perpetration. Dating perpetration was linked to lower general levels of EDA in both men and women, while FOA was linked to lower general levels of EDA in men only. For women, multi-group, multilevel models showed that FOA and dating aggression perpetration moderated the association between feeling annoyed and EDA, such that those with greater FOA and dating aggression perpetration showed greater EDA reactivity during naturally-occurring relationship stress. Furthermore, this pattern of EDA reactivity mediated the link between FOA and dating aggression perpetration in women. These results provide evidence that FOA and dating aggression perpetration are linked to patterns of physiological responsivity in everyday life and suggest that these patterns could be important factors contributing to the intergenerational transmission of aggression.
author list (cited authors)
Timmons, A. C., Han, S. C., Chaspari, T., Kim, Y., Pettit, C., Narayanan, S., & Margolin, G.