the criminology and criminal justice network
"By far, most research on the behavior of socially anxious individuals has focused on the “flight” rather than the “fight” response described in the traditional conceptualization of anxiety. More recently, however, there has been some speculation and emerging evidence suggesting that social anxiety and aggression may be related. The present study examined social anxiety as a predictor of dating aggression within a late adolescent sample. Two forms of dating aggression were assessed: physical aggression, such as slapping, use of a weapon, or forced sexual activity, and psychological aggression, such as slamming doors, insulting, or refusing to talk to one’s partner. One aspect of social anxiety, Fear of Negative Evaluation (FNE), emerged as a significant predictor of male dating aggression, even after controlling for relationship quality. Notably, FNE was most predictive of increased aggression of both types when men also perceived their romantic relationship to be more antagonistic. Despite its demonstrated importance as a contextual variable, however, relationship quality did not mediate the association between FNE and psychological or physical aggression. Implications for prevailing conceptualizations of social anxiety and dating aggression are discussed."
-Michelle S. R. Hanby, Jessica Fales, Douglas W. Nangle, Agnieszka K. Serwik, and Uriah J. Hedrich, concerning, "Social Anxiety as a Predictor of Dating Aggression" from the July 2012 issue of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence