Cognitieve Schema’s en Agressief gedrag in Kinderen: De Mediërende Rol van Sociale Informatieverwerking
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The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between two cognitive schemas (hostile beliefs and justification of aggression) and reactive and proactive aggressive behavior in children, and to test whether these associations are mediated by dysfunctional social information processing (SIP) (hostile intent attribution and selection of instrumental goals). The sample consisted of 95 boys between 7 and 13 years old with and without aggressive behavior problems, recruited from both regular and special education. To measure cognitive schemas, questionnaires were completed by the participants and their teacher filled in a questionnaire for the assessment of reactive and proactive aggression. Contrary to many other studies assessing SIP, this study used Virtual Reality instead of vignettes to measure SIP. A positive association was found between hostile beliefs and reactive aggression. A hostile attribution bias did not appear to mediate this association. Furthermore, results showed that there is a positive association between justification of aggression and proactive aggression. The selection of instrumental goals did not appear to mediate this association. Further research is required to gain a deeper understanding of the way cognitive schemas influence reactive and proactive aggression through deviations in specific SIP-steps.