The virus of violence

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Allard, M. & Watt, B. D. (2008). The virus of violence. Paper presented at the seventh Australian Conference on Personality & Individual Differences, 2008 (ACPID-08), Robina, Queensland.

© Copyright Mattias Allard and Bruce Watt, 2008


Models explaining the relationship between victimisation and violence typically fail to include any mediation variables to account for the difference between victimised individuals that become violent in adulthood and those that don’t. A model was proposed, using a Gold Coast community sample of 250 individuals (79 males, 138 females, 33 no answer) with a median age 41-45, that violent thoughts (measured as violent fantasies and permissive attitudes towards violence) mediate the relationship between victimisation (measured retrospectively) and aggression. The study controlled for gender and social desirability bias. The model consisted of a distal stage (victimisation and gender), proximal stage (permissive attitudes towards violence and violent fantasies) and an outcome stage (aggression). The results found significant relationships between all three stages, and a regression concluded that violent fantasies and permissive attitudes towards violence contribute significantly towards the prediction of aggression after accounting for covariates and victimisation. Women were also found to be less aggressive. The results for the model were positive, but the relationship between aggression and social desirability bias should be further explored in future studies if it is still to be accounted for as a covariate.

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