Theory and metatheory combine to create the unique paradigm that influences how researchers interpret data and make hypotheses. By examining one combination of theory (dynamic systems) and metatheory (a Hobbesian outlook), this paper provides a solid theoretical framework for examining self-regulation, aggression, and resource control. This paradigm encourages researchers to consider the functions of aggression (reactive vs. instrumental) and forms of self-regulation (active vs. automatic) as unique constructs and generates hypotheses about their development and interaction. These hypotheses were tested in a sample of preschool children, and results showed that active regulation, automatic regulation, and aggression uniquely predict a significant portion of the variance in teacher-rated resource control.
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