School Psychology Review

A Review of Existing Relational Aggression Programs: Strengths, Limitations, and Future Directions

Stephen S. Leff, Tracy Evian Waasdorp, and Nicki R. Crick

pp. 508-535

Special Series: Interventions for Relational Aggression: Innovative Programming and Next Steps

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Abstract. Research suggests that involvement in relational aggression is associated with serious adjustment problems, including concurrent and future social maladjustment (e.g., problematic friendships; rejection), internalizing problems (e.g., depressive symptoms), and school avoidance. Despite the burgeoning literature focusing on the harmful and damaging nature of relationally aggressive behavior, this research has only recently begun to be used to inform school-based prevention and intervention programming. This article reviews the developmental research related to relational aggression and presents a systematic examination of nine published school-based prevention and intervention programs to prevent relational aggression. Programs reviewed target preschool through eighth-grade students. Strengths and limitations of each program are discussed. Recommendations are offered for future research to develop and validate school-based programming for relational aggression, and implications for school psychologists are discussed.