Succumbing to the Call of Violence : Sex-Linked Development of Appetitive Aggression in Relation to Familial and Organized Violence

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Memo TV - Epigenetic, neural and cognitive memories of traumatic stress and violence
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Frontiers in Psychology. 2017, 8, 751. eISSN 1664-1078. Available under: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00751
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Appetitive aggression is the attraction to violent behavior, which can peak in the experience of a combat high. In various war and conflict scenarios, members of armed groups have reported developing a desire to hunt and even kill humans. More recently, we reported that the phenomenon has also been observed in female ex-combatants with varying participation in warfare. Despite recent investigations on risk factors for appetitive aggression, sex-specific pathways in the development of appetitive aggression have not yet been delineated. This study investigated moderation effects of sex on previously identified risk factors for appetitive aggression by means of regression analyses in a sample of individuals with varying degrees of warfare participation (overall sample, n = 602). First examining a sample characterized by backgrounds heterogeneous in both sociodemographic data and war experiences, the analysis was then replicated in a subsample of fighters active during the civil war (combatant sample, n = 109). In both samples, regression analyses revealed significant moderation effects of sex. Childhood maltreatment and traumatic events had positive associations on the development of appetitive aggression for males but a negative (childhood maltreatment) or no (traumatic events) association for females. Perpetrated events were more strongly correlated with appetitive aggression for females than for males. This pattern was pronounced for the combatant sample. These results are in favor of sex-linked pathways. In both sexes, appetitive aggression may have evolved as a biologically prepared response to cruel environments but might develop along different trajectories. The current study highlights the need for addressing appetitive aggression in order to support peace-building processes and emphasizes sex specific starting-points.

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ISO 690AUGSBURGER, Mareike, Danie MEYER-PARLAPANIS, Thomas ELBERT, Corina NANDI, Manassé BAMBONYE, Anselm CROMBACH, 2017. Succumbing to the Call of Violence : Sex-Linked Development of Appetitive Aggression in Relation to Familial and Organized Violence. In: Frontiers in Psychology. 2017, 8, 751. eISSN 1664-1078. Available under: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00751
BibTex
@article{Augsburger2017-05-09Succu-39405,
  year={2017},
  doi={10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00751},
  title={Succumbing to the Call of Violence : Sex-Linked Development of Appetitive Aggression in Relation to Familial and Organized Violence},
  volume={8},
  journal={Frontiers in Psychology},
  author={Augsburger, Mareike and Meyer-Parlapanis, Danie and Elbert, Thomas and Nandi, Corina and Bambonye, Manassé and Crombach, Anselm},
  note={Article Number: 751}
}
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