Pacifists and Revenge-Seekers in Response to Unambiguous Peer Provocation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In order to better understand why some children retaliate when they feel provoked and others do not, the present study identified "pacifistically-oriented" children who made negative interpretations in response to unambiguous provocations, yet did not endorse revenge goals, and compared them to "revenge-seeking" children who also made negative interpretations but did endorse revenge goals. Groups were identified based on seventh graders' (N = 367; 54.77% male; 22.89% racial/ethnic minority) responses to hypothetical situations in which a peer excluded and insulted them. Comparing these groups revealed that Pacifists endorsed relationship-maintaining goals and emotion regulation goals more highly than Revenge-Seekers. Revenge-Seekers reported more anger and endorsed beliefs about negative reciprocity and aggression being legitimate more highly than Pacifists. Additionally, Revenge-Seekers were more disrespect sensitive than were Pacifists, based on a measure of vigilance for signs of disrespect and expectations that others would disrespect them. Together these findings point to social-cognitive and emotion-related processes that may inhibit revenge-seeking in unambiguous provocation situations, even when children interpret the peer's behavior quite negatively.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McDonald, KL; Asher, SR

Published Date

  • September 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1907 - 1925

PubMed ID

  • 29349594

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6053336

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1573-6601

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0047-2891

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10964-017-0767-4


  • eng