Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


The role of individual sensitivity to Provocations and Frustrations in the relationship between harsh discipline and readiness for aggression in Poland and the USA.


Psychology Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Social and Behavioral Sciences


Physical or psychological discipline used to correct child misbehavior might result in feelings of humiliation or frustration when a punishment is to block goal-directed behavior. In this study, we hypothesized that harsh parenting contributed to the development of individual sensitivity to frustrating and provoking situations, which in turn increases readiness for aggression in adulthood. Data were collected from 402 participants including 215 students from US and 187 students from Poland, who retrospectively reported on the frequency of corporal punishment and psychological aggression experienced in childhood, as well as, they completed two self-report instruments: STAR (Lawrence, 2006) measuring the extent to which provoking and frustrating situations make individuals feel aggressive and RIAI (Frczek, Konopka, Smulczyk, 2009) measuring three mechanisms regulating aggressive manifestations i.e.emotional-impulsive readiness (EIR), habitual-cognitive readiness (HCR) and personality-immanent readiness (PIR). The results showed that psychological aggression contributed to readiness for aggression to a larger extent than corporal punishment in both samples. However, a cross-national difference was also found. The effect of psychological aggression on three types of readiness for aggression was fully mediated by the sensitivity to Provocations, in the case of EIG, or Frustrations, in case of HCR and PIR (only in the Polish sample). In the American sample, findings showed that psychological aggression has a strong direct effect on readiness for interpersonal aggression particularly, when a punishment is executed by a father.

Conference Name

International Society for Research on Aggression

Conference Location

Atlanta, GA

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