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The development of social aggression and physical aggression: A narrative analysis of interpersonal conflicts



The development of social aggression and physical aggression: A narrative analysis of interpersonal conflicts



Aggressive Behavior 28(5): 341-355



Using conflict narratives reported by children and adolescents, this study investigated the development and social functions of social aggression in comparison to physical aggression. A total of 510 participants in two cohorts of a longitudinal study were involved (116 girls and 104 boys from Grade 4 and 155 girls and 135 boys from Grade 7). Patterns of social aggression and physical aggression were identified based on interview reports in the first year of the study. Results showed that a triadic structure of social relationship was often reported in conflicts where social aggression was employed, whereas a dyadic structure was reported in conflicts involving physical aggression. Girls tended to use social aggression against girls, whereas boys tended to use physical aggression against boys. Children and adolescents who were central in peer social networks were more likely to employ social aggression than those who were peripheral in the networks. Social aggression was not reliably linked to concurrent or future problematic adjustment. Physical aggression, however, was not related to network centrality but was linked to concurrent and future maladjustment (e.g., low academic competence and school dropout).

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Accession: 011488508

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1002/ab.80008


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