An increasing number of studies reveal that self-control is an important preventative factor for aggression. However, the involvement of potential explanatory variables has received less research attention. Drawing upon the feedback-loop model of self-control, the current research assumed that the preventing effect of trait self-control on aggression may be moderated by moral disengagement. Self-reported measures of trait self-control, moral disengagement and aggression were administered to 946 Chinese university students. Results show that trait self-control had a negative effect on physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger and hostility, whereas moral disengagement positively predicted each of these constructs. Of particular importance was a significant interaction between trait self-control and moral disengagement for verbal aggression and hostility. Specifically, the preventing effect of trait self-control on these two types of aggression was more pronounced in individuals with low rather than high moral disengagement. In conclusion, low conditional endorsement of transgressive acts and having high trait self-control are both important individual-difference variables that explain reduced aggression. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association.
CitationLi, J.-B., Nie, Y.-G., Boardley, I. D., Situ, Q.-M., & Dou, K. (2014). Moral disengagement moderates the predicted effect of trait self-control on self-reported aggression. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 17(4), 312-318. doi: 10.1111/ajsp.12072
- Feedback-loop model of self-control
- Moral disengagement
- Trait self-control