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Thugs and ThievesThe Differential Etiology of Violence$
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Joanne Savage and Kevin H. Wozniak

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780195393583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393583.001.0001

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Attachment, Bonds to Parents, Physical Aggression, and Violence

Attachment, Bonds to Parents, Physical Aggression, and Violence

(p.121) 6 Attachment, Bonds to Parents, Physical Aggression, and Violence
Thugs and Thieves

Kevin H. Wozniak

Oxford University Press

Attachment insecurity is seen as a risk factor for many behavioral problems. In this chapter, we examine the role of parental attachment in the development of violent behavior. We find consistent evidence that attachment to parents is negatively associated with physical aggression and violence in children. There are nuances to this conclusion; some measures are better than others, and the findings are not as strong as the findings for some other criminogenic factors. Regarding the differential etiology of violence, there is weak, preliminary evidence that indicators of substantial attachment problems (e.g., parental loss and separation) are more strongly associated with violent than nonviolent-only offending, but otherwise, we tender no conclusive evidence that measures of attachment to parents are strong differential predictors of violent behavior.

Keywords:   Attachment, Parental Sensitivity, Parent Death, Parental Loss, Aggression, Violence, Parental Bonding, Social Bonds, Fathers, Sex Differences

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