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Child Dev. 1996 Jun;67(3):1003-14.

Gender differences in children's normative beliefs about aggression: how do I hurt thee? Let me count the ways.

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  • 1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 61801, USA.

Abstract

This research was designed to assess whether children view relationally manipulative behaviors (i.e., those behaviors labeled relational aggression in past research) as "aggressive." 2 studies were conducted to evaluate whether children view relationally manipulative behaviors as associated with 2 defining features of aggression, anger (Study 1) and intent to harm (Study 2). Results of Study 1 (n = 459, 9-12-year-olds) indicated that relational aggression was the most frequently cited angry behavior for girls' interactions whereas physical aggression was the most frequently cited angry behavior for boys' interactions. Results of Study 2 (n = 60, 9-11-year-olds) demonstrated that relational aggression and verbal insults were the most frequently cited harmful behaviors for girls whereas physical aggression and verbal insults were the most frequently cited harmful behaviors for boys. These studies provide the first evidence that children view relationally manipulative acts (relational aggression) as angry, harmful behaviors (i.e., as "aggressive").

PMID:
8706506
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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