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The Quadripartite Violence Typology: Validation of the Angry Aggression Scale in a Dutch Community Sample

Former IDA student Lotte Bant wrote her Master thesis under the supervision of Carlo Garofalo and presented the topic at the graduation ceremony on September 24, 2022.

Background: One prominent conceptualization of aggression is a bimodal perspective that posits aggression encompasses two categories: affective or instrumental, each serving different functions. Since aggression is a multifaceted phenomenon, questions are raised if this dichotomy captures the complex nature and heterogeneity of aggression. A more refined perspective was adopted in the quadripartite violence typology (QVT), which differentiates between appetitive/impulsive, appetitive/controlled, aversive/impulsive, and aversive/controlled aggression, and can be measured with the Angry Aggression Scale (AAS). Yet, validation studies of the QVT as measured by the AAS are limited.
Method: The present study aimed to contribute to the validation of this model in a Dutch community sample (N = 606, Mage = 27.3, SDage = 10.3, range = 18 – 73).
Results: Confirmatory factor analyses indicated good model fit, with superior fit of the four-factor model, compared to more parsimonious aggression models. Internal consistency and inter-item correlation analyses conveyed good psychometric properties. Strict measurement invariance was obtained across gender, and no mean differences were found in their AAS scores. Evidence for construct validity was also reported, the AAS showed a pattern of convergent validity across aggression, impulsivity, emotion and personality domains, largely in line with theoretical expectations. However, discriminant validity was less pronounced and some construct validity problems emerged for attitudes towards anger and boldness.
Conclusion: Overall, these findings provide incremental evidence that the AAS is a valid measure, with some noted limitations, and substantiate a foundation for the use of the AAS for clinical studies, including investigation of etiology and developmental trajectories of aggression.

Keywords: Aggression Typologies, Affective and Instrumental Aggression, Angry Aggression Scale, Quadripartite Violence Typlogy, Validation-study.

Lotte is now working as a teacher in forensic psychology at the developmental department in Tilburg University where she is supervising students for their BA or MA thesis. Besides that, she is also working on research in the forensic field and will start her PhD in September 2023.

Congratulations, Lotte! We wish you the best of luck with your new role as a teacher and in your PhD!

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