The present study has been designed to investigate the relationship of maternal attributes such as emotional empathy and emotional awareness with adolescents’ aggressive behavior towards others. Specifically, the study addresses three issues: 1) Does mothers’ emotional empathy and emotional awareness separately predict aggression in their children? 2) Do the mothers’ attributes of emotional empathy and emotional awareness together better predict aggression? 3) Does mothers’ emotional empathy interact with gender of children to predict aggression? and, 4) Does mothers’ emotional awareness interact with gender of children to predict aggression? The study was conducted on a sample of 115 adolescent boys and girls with an average age of 16.4, S.D. = 1.17. In addition, the study included 115 mothers of the same adolescents. Mean age for mothers was 41.6 years (S.D. = 7.1). Mothers reported on their personality characteristics of emotional empathy and emotional awareness, utilizing the Emotional Empathy Scale (EES) and Trait Emotional Awareness Scale (TEAS) respectively, whereas the adolescents were administered the Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) to assess their level of aggression. Results indicated predictive value of mothers’ emotional awareness for inhibiting aggression in their children (β = -.26, p< .01). However, mother’s emotional empathy neither separately nor in interaction with emotional awareness significantly predicted aggression. Moreover, mothers’ emotional awareness was found to interact with adolescents’ gender to inhibit aggression in children (β = .27, p< .02). Results showed that mothers’ emotional awareness contributed to decreased risk for developing aggression in girl child. However, the interactive effect of mothers’ emotional empathy and adolescents’ gender did not predict aggression in children. The obtained pattern of findings will hold important implications for parent training and growthful relationships.
KEYWORDS: emotional empathy, emotional awareness, aggression, gender, mother