Approach/Positive Anticipation, Frustration/Anger, and Overt Aggression in Childhood

Kirby Deater-Deckard, Charles Beekman, Zhe Wang, Jungmeen Kim, Stephen Petrill, Lee Thompson, Laura DeThorne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined mothers' ratings of children's affective and behavioral aspects of approach tendencies and links with overt aggressive behavior problems while considering the genetic etiology of these processes. Approach/positive anticipation (AP), frustration/anger (FA), and overt aggression in 4-9-year-olds were assessed using mothers' reports in a diverse national sample (n=992) and a sample of same-sex twins (n=195 pairs). AP and FA were positively correlated with each other and with overt aggression (r from .2 to .5), and these associations were very similar for boys and girls. AP and FA provided overlapping as well as independent statistical prediction of aggression. AP statistical prediction of aggression was substantially mediated by FA, an effect that was accounted for by underlying genetic and nonshared environmental influences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1010
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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