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J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs. 2007 May;20(2):107-15.

Relational aggression, gender, and the developmental process.

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School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.



Defining and exploring the concept of relational aggression, or the purposeful intent to inflict harm on another through a social relationship.


This study aims to describe the concept of relational aggression as it has been shaped through recent research, to contrast relational aggression with other types of aggression, and to explore the influence of gender and the formation of a self-concept in the development of relational aggression.


A review of the literature from 1969 to 2005 from selected nursing, child development, women's studies, and psychology publications.


Some degree of relational aggression seems to be a normal response to conflict for many girls, from preschool through adolescence; however, more research needs to be conducted to determine at what level, or what subtypes, of relational aggression are predictive of future deviant behavior.

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