Effortful control and shyness as correlates of aggressive behaviour among adolescents

  • Chidozie Edwin Nwafor
  • Charles Okechukwu Anazonwu
  • Harry Obi-Nwosu
  • Paschal Chukwuma Ugwu


This study examined the utility of instigation, impellance and inhibition (Triple “I” or I3) theory in describing if the levels of effortful control and shyness traits were related to aggression in a sample of 325 adolescents selected from Awka metropolis of Anambra State Nigeria. These participants comprised of boys (n = 133, 40.9%) and girls (n = 195, 59%). Their ages ranged from 13-15 years (M = 13.29, SD = 1.36). Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire-revised, which has sub-scales for aggression, effortful control and shyness traits were used for data collection. Pearson’s product moment correlation was used to analyze the data. The results confirmed that the subscales of effortful control (attention, activation and inhibition control) were negatively related to aggression, rs = -.25, -.25 and -.27, p< .01 respectively. Shyness had a positive relationship with aggression, r = .23, p< .05. The discussion focused on the implementation of the model in preventing the manifestation of aggression at individual level.