Volume 39, Issue 4 (2010)
Relational Aggression in Schools: Implications for Future Research on Screening Intervention and Prevention
Hill M. Walker
Aggression, in its various forms, is a construct that underlies many of the social toxins that have plagued our society for so long. The unifying theme of aggression under-girds conceptualizations and theories of antisocial behavior (overt and covert), bullying, and interpersonal violence. Given the primary focus by Crick and Grotpeter (1995) on peer manipulation to inflict damage to one’s reputation and relationships, it appears that their definition of relational aggression falls within the purview of highly aggressive and destructive social behavior. At present, however, it is unclear whether relational aggression is a distinct subset of bullying or is rather a parallel construct with a different etiology and developmental course. The answer to this question awaits further investigation and longitudinal studies that can track bullying and relational aggression across time, social contexts, and responsiveness to intervention.
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