Date10 July 2017
Published date10 July 2017
AuthorJane L. Ireland,Robert J. Cramer
Jane L. Ireland and Robert J. Cramer
In this edition we showcase a range of different topics, from sleep challenges to domestic
violence responses, to illustrate the range of papers that comprise the broad area of interest to
those working with aggression, either academically and/or in practice.
We commence with a paper exploring the role of sleep quality and aggression among a
European sample. This is a surprisingly under-researched area and yet the finding that sleep
impacts on aggression is arguably a common sense one. However, it appears that the
perception of sleep quality is the core variable of interest and not sleep quantity, with reduced
perceptions of quality associated with raised levels of hostile attributions and increased levels of
reactive (emotionally driven) aggression. The findings suggest that attributions are perhaps key in
considering and pointing to a clear cognitive component in understanding aggression, which
could perhaps be considered more fully in aggression intervention programmes.
This paper is followed by a qualitative piece exploring the role of those involved in political
protests. Its value lies not just in the content of the research but also in the method,
demonstrating an integrated methodological approach to understanding newspaper
representations of aggression. Using a recent political protest in Hong Kong as an example to
illustrate the method, they show the contrasting representations of police in two different
newspaper sources. The power of press representation cannot be underestimated when
considering the impact of reporting on public opinion, public action, and the accurate recording
of events for future use. Consequently, the paper is a thought-provoking piece that captures the
value in using such media as a specific form of data in its own right. The integration of analysis
approaches would appear to reflect that being observed across other areas of research practice,
particularly in the qualitative research sector.
A paper that uses Rapid Evidence Assessments (REA) to consider adolescent violence towards
parents then follows. Such assessments can be invaluable when determining the feasibility of
conducting a study and/or when there is limited time available to consider use of an alternative
strategy, such as a systematic review or meta-analysis. In the current paper, the authors
demonstrate an excellent use of an REA by focusing on high-quality papers that were already
generated from a systematic review and answering an under-researched topic of interest,
namely violence towards parents and the characteristics of the families most likely to be affected.
The complexities of the adolescents who perpetrate were indicated across a number of variables
such as mental health, substance use, emotional management, and trauma-related challenges,
with some dysfunction in wider family relationships. One area that remains in need of
consideration is perhaps a more detailed understanding of those adolescents at risk of such
perpetration who do not then go onto to display this. Protective factors appear an area worthy of
future research to build on the useful findings of the current paper.
Continuing with a qualitative synthesis-focused approach is the ensuing paper on therapeutic
alliance in offending behaviour programmes, including violence therapies. Focusing on an
often-neglected area of study, namely the process of how good content is delivered on such
programmes, the research provides an outline of how an effective therapeutic alliance
could be formed. The value of the paper is significant since the area of treatment intervention can
be criticised for not offering an indication of the mechanism of change; we can be informed
that change has occurred in the variables that we were hoping to observe change in, but the
process through which change happens remains unclear. The current study builds on
earlier research that acknowledges the value of therapist quality in treatment outcome and the
value of therapeutic atmosphere, by identifying three practice modes: educative, engagement
DOI 10.1108/JACPR-03-2017-0275 VOL. 9 NO. 3 2017, pp.165-166, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599

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