The present study examined the relations between aggressive fantasies, thought control strategies and aggressive behaviour in a sample of non-clinical female participants (N = 72). First, the nature and prevalence of aggressive fantasies and thought control strategies were examined. Then, the relation between these constructs and aggressive behaviour was studied by means of correlations and regression analysis. Results indicated that aggressive fantasies were a common experience in these non-clinical participants, and that suppression, distraction and cognitive reappraisal were prevalent strategies to control aggressive intrusive thoughts. Most importantly, it was found that thought suppression and aggressive fantasies were positively correlated with aggressive behaviour. A regression analysis underlined the link between thought suppression and aggressive behaviour, but the relation between aggressive fantasies and aggressive behaviour was no longer significant. Further, some indications were found for distraction being an adaptive strategy for controlling aggressive intrusive thoughts.

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Personality and Individual Differences
Department of Psychology

Nagtegaal, M.H, Rassin, E.G.C, & Muris, P.E.H.M. (2006). Aggressive fantasies, thought control strategies, and their connection to aggressive behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences, 41(8), 1397–1407. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2006.05.009