We examined mock aggression-behavior that appears aggressive, but lacks intent to harm-among emerging adults, using a survey (N = 34 females and 22 males) and an interview (N = 79 females and 30 males). As expected, mock aggression was a common, positive, and integral part of the lives of our sample across social, familial, romantic, and sports contexts. Both men and women reported considerable mock aggression, but men displayed more of some types of mock aggression (e.g., backslap, bump chests, knuckle hit). Adults reported developmentally appropriate outcomes of mock aggression (e.g., sex, stress relief) not reported among children. Contrary to the prevailing literature, participants reported increases in mock aggression from mid-adolescence into adulthood. Findings indicate that, whereas aggression occurs under circumstances of increased negative affect and typically has negative outcomes, mock aggression occurs under circumstances of positive affect and almost always has positive outcomes.
Ballard, Mary E.; Green, Shavonda; and Granger, Caroline
"Affiliation, Flirting, and Fun: Mock Aggressive Behavior in College Students,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 53
, Article 3.
Available at: https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol53/iss1/3