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A longitudinal examination of the associations between mothers' and sons' attributions and their aggression

  • CAROL MACKINNON–LEWIS (a1), MICHAEL E. LAMB (a2), JOHN HATTIE (a1) and LAILA P. BARADARAN (a2)

Abstract

This study tested an integrative, multipathway model designed to explain bidirectional effects of the attributions and coercive behaviors of mothers and sons in the context of a longitudinal study. Subjects were 246 mothers and sons who were 7–9 years of age. Mothers' and sons' attributions about one another's intent were significantly related to the aggressiveness of the behavior that each of them directed toward the other. Boys' earlier aggression did not significantly predict the mothers' subsequent attributions, whereas mothers' negative behavior indeed predicted subsequent negative attributions on the part of the boys. Even after considering children's earlier negative behavior, children's negative attributions about their mothers helped explain the aggressiveness of their subsequent behavior. The same was not true for mothers whose earlier attributions indirectly influenced their subsequent aggressive behavior.

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Carol MacKinnon–Lewis, Center for the Study of Social Issues, 41 McNutt Building, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412-5001.

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A longitudinal examination of the associations between mothers' and sons' attributions and their aggression

  • CAROL MACKINNON–LEWIS (a1), MICHAEL E. LAMB (a2), JOHN HATTIE (a1) and LAILA P. BARADARAN (a2)

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