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The use of sexual coercion by university students is a prevalent and serious phenomenon. Studies have indicated that insecure attachment (i.e., attachment anxiety and avoidance) is related to sexual coercion perpetration, but the mechanisms explaining this association remain misunderstood. Negative urgency, which refers to the tendency to react impulsively when experiencing intense negative emotions, may be one of these mechanisms.
The objective of the present study is to determine the role played by negative urgency in the relationship between attachment insecurity and past use of sexual coercion.
Ninety-seven male university students completed online questionnaires measuring attachment style, negative urgency and past use of sexual coercion.
Mediation analyses revealed that attachment anxiety – but not attachment avoidance – predicted past use of sexual coercion via negative urgency. Ultimately, this study suggests that the propensity to act impulsively under the effect of negative emotions reported by anxiously attached men may constitute a risk factor for sexual coercion perpetration.
This study identifies negative urgency and anxious attachment as promising intervention targets to prevent the perpetration of sexual coercion and highlights the importance of verifying the causal role of these factors with longitudinal studies.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Attachment, Attachment anxiety, Attachment avoidance, Negative urgency, Impulsivity, Sexual coercion
|☆|| La version en français de cet article, publiée dans l’édition imprimée de la revue, est disponible en ligne : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sexol.2018.02.005.