Alienation als moderator van de relatie tussen acute sociale afwijzing en agressie bij jonge adolescenten.
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This study examined whether the dispositional trait alienation moderates the link between acute peer rejection and aggression (both direct and displaced) in young adolescents. Participants (N = 138) ranging between 10 and 13 years of age, played a fictitious online computer game (“Survivor”). Participants were randomized to one of two peer feedback conditions, positive or negative. In the positive feedback condition the feedback consisted of 3 positive comments and one neutral comment. In the negative feedback condition the feedback consisted of 3 negative comments and one neutral comment. After receiving feedback, participants evaluated both peers who had judged them before, as well as other “innocent” peers. In so doing, participants could aggress in two distinct ways; i.e., substracting money from the judges’ reward (financial aggression) and posting negative comments about them on the Survivor website (verbal aggression). Relative to socially accepted children, rejected participants displayed significantly higher levels of both direct and displaced aggression. These effects were stronger for direct aggression. Moreover, rejected participants only displayed significantly more displaced verbal aggression than did accepted participants. As predicted, alienation increased participants’ direct aggression against peers who had rejected them, but not against peers who had praised them, even after controlling for peer-nominated chronic rejection and peer-nominated aggression. With regard to the moderating effects of alienation on displaced aggression, an asymmetry between measures was observed. Participants with higher alienation scores displayed higher levels of displaced financial aggression, in comparison to participants with lower scores on alienation. In contrast, children with higher scores on alienation did not display more displaced verbal aggression, relative to their low alienation counterparts