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Aggression and Attachment

  • By: Muniba Saleem
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Attachment theory, formulated by John Bowlby (1982), was first developed to explain emotional bonding between children and their primary caregivers. The theory has since been expanded to many domains and has become one of the leading frameworks for understanding close relationships, social development, and various interpersonal social behaviors. Recently, scholars have successfully applied attachment theory to the study of interpersonal and intergroup conflict, anger, and aggression. This entry gives an overview of research findings concerning the role of attachment processes in interpersonal and intergroup conflict. Suggestions are also given on how attachment theory may be relevant to understanding media violence effects on aggression, and recommendations are made for future research in this area.

Overview of Attachment Theory

Bowlby posited that children are born with an attachment behavioral ...

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