What Can We Learn About Aggression From What Adolescents Consider Important in Life? The Contribution of Values Theory to Aggression Research

Maya Benish-Weisman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Values are abstract goals that serve as guiding principles in people’s lives. Schwartz’s theory (1992) offers a comprehensive framework to understand what motivates human behavior. It classifies people’s broad motivations into a system of values organized in a circumplex structure. In this article, I explain how recent findings from studies of values can add to our knowledge of what motivates adolescents to behave aggressively. For example, during adolescence, values emphasizing caring for others and maintaining social norms relate negatively to aggression, whereas values promoting self-focus and pursuing new experiences and stimulation relate to aggressive acts. I also discuss the potentially protective role of some values, the mechanisms mediating the relations between values and aggression, and the relations between values and aggression over time. Finally, I suggest new directions for research and discuss the importance of including values in interventions to prevent aggression.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Society for Research in Child Development

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • aggression
  • values

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