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Associations Between Low Self-Control And Aggression Among Malaysian Male Prisoners

Mohammad Rahim Kamaluddin, Nadiah Syariani Md. Shariff, Azizah Othman, Khaidzir Hj Ismail, Geshina Ayu Mat Saat

Abstract


Objective: A large body of criminological research provides evidence for the role of low self-control in triggering aggressive and violent behaviour. There are actually limited cross-sectional studies in ASEAN countries that ascertain the relationships between these two constructs. The present study aimed to determine the associations between low self-control and aggression among Malaysian male prisoners. 

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in two prisons located within Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 198 Malaysian male prisoners were recruited into this study. A guided self-administered questionnaire consisting of two psychometric instruments adapted to the Malaysian context was used, ie. Malay versions of the Self Control Scale (SCS-M) and Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ-M). The Pearson correlation coefficient test was employed to determine the association between low self-control and aggression. In addition, correlation was also examined between low self-control and subscales of aggression. 

Results: In general, findings demonstrated a positive and significant association between low self-control and aggression (r = 0.52, p > 0.001). Specifically, low self-control was significantly associated with anger (r = 0.54, p < 0.001), physical aggression (r = 0.50, p < 0.001), and hostility (r = 0.33, p < 0.001). No significant correlation was observed between low self-control and verbal aggression (r = 0.13, p > 0.05). 

Conclusion: The implications from this study include the importance of self-control as a salient predictor of aggression and community intervention among at-risk groups. The directions for future research are also discussed.

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Keywords


Aggression; Low self-control; Male prisoners; Violent behaviour; Malaysia

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