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Dev Psychol. 1997 Jul;33(4):610-7.

Engagement in gender normative versus nonnormative forms of aggression: links to social-psychological adjustment.

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  • 1Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


Although many important advances have been made in our understanding of childhood aggression in recent years, a significant limitation of prior studies has been the lack of attention to the possible moderating role of gender in the links between aggression and social-psychological adjustment. To address this issue, the author evaluated the adjustment status associated with engagement in gender normative versus gender nonnormative forms of aggression for both boys and girls. Indexes of social-psychological adjustment assessed included teacher and self-reports of internalizing and externalizing difficulties (N = 1.166 children 9-12 years old). Results showed that children who engaged in gender nonnormative forms of aggression (i.e., overtly aggressive girls and relationally aggressive boys) were significantly more maladjusted than children who engaged in gender normative forms of aggression and children who were nonaggressive.

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