Aggressive individuals often exhibit a hostile attributional bias (HAB). To examine why some people exhibit the HAB to a higher degree than others, we tested the hypothesis put forth by Dodge (2006). Dodge hypothesized HAB results from traumatic experiences and this relation is mediated by schemas. This hypothesis was tested among 135 Dutch and migrant participants. Among Dutch participants, traumatic experiences were not related to the HAB but were related to schemas. However, among migrants, traumatic experiences were related both to the HAB and schemas, but schemas were not related to the HAB. Therefore, traumatic experiences are related to a HAB only in migrants. Furthermore, in both groups, schemas do not mediate the relation between traumatic experiences and the HAB.

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Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Department of Psychiatry

Buck, N.M.L, Cima, M, Lancel, M, & van Marle, H.J.C. (2012). On the explanation of the hostile attributional bias: Traumatic experiences, schemas, and migrant status. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma (Vol. 21, pp. 223–236). doi:10.1080/10926771.2012.639051