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Relational aggression is manipulation calculated to hurt or control another child's ability to maintain rapport with peers. Relational aggression is behavior that is intended to hurt someone by harming his or her relationships with others (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). Relational aggression is not typical bullying either physical or verbal but a more subtle form of aggression that uses relationships to damage or manipulate others.

Boys and girls engage in aggression, but girls are more likely to express aggression in a relational sense, including behaviors such as rumors, gossip and social exclusion. Girls purposefully ignore or exclude other girls, spread rumors, and tell peers not to associate with another girl as a means of retaliation. Girls use their relationships to inflict harm, manipulate peers, and injure others' feelings of social acceptance.

For example, a relational aggressive girl may insist that her friends ignore a particular child, exclude her from their group, form secret pacts to humiliate the child, call her names, and/or spread rumors about her. Examples of such manipulation include, "If you don't do what I say, I won't play with you." Children in preschool have been observed excluding peers by saying, "Don't let her play," or using retaliation, "She was mean to me yesterday, so she can't be our friend." In older girls, the gossip can be more vicious, for example, "Her dad's a druggie," "I saw her cheat," or "She think she's all that."

The consequences are serious. Both victims and aggressors are at risk for serious adjustment problems that can have far-reaching effects on their lives, including depression and suicide. Relational aggression creates a social environment in schools that is hostile and affects a girl's ability to learn and grow. Three groups are involved in relational aggression: the aggressor or bully, the victim, and the bystander.




Female Bullying Bullying occurs in four main ways: physical, verbal, relational and cyber. This link takes you to a number or articles on this subject.

Girls Bullying Girls  An Introduction to Relational Aggression From the National Association of School Psychologists

Relational Aggression  utilizes social skills to network negativity. It covertly manipulates how others view a particular individual through isolation and other behaviors.


Relational Aggression Tip Sheet

Relational aggression - Wikipedia Relational aggression, also known as covert aggression or covert bullying, is a type of aggression in which harm is caused through damage to relationships or social status within a group.

Relational Aggression: More than Just
Mean Girls
  Relational aggression is described as any behavior that is intended to harm someone.

Are there differences between male and female bullies? researchers at Brigham Young University have shown that girls as young as 4 have learned how to manipulate their peers to exclude kids and become the queen of the sandbox.

Covert Abuse: Relational Aggression and
Dellasega and Yumei, address the psychological and emotional abuse of relational aggression, covert bullying, gossip, slander, teasing and exclusion.

It's "Mean," But What Does It Mean to Adolescents? Relational Aggression Described by Victims, Aggressors, and Their Peers Early adolescent girls and boys (N = 33) with known histories of relational aggression and/or victimization gave detailed accounts of the nature, frequency, intensity, course, and impact of relational aggression among their peers.

Bullying, Relational Aggression and Cyberbullying: What is Known and What Can Be Done Bullying behavior is not simply a phase, a rite of passage, or something that kids "grow out of." Research has shown us that children who are bullied often suffer serious physical and psychological wounds.

Bullying amongst girls... relational aggression Most of us will answer that question with a resounding yes.... then falter. Because sometimes the way girls bully each other look very much the same as what boys might do. But there is a difference.

Cheryl Dellasega  Relational Aggression: Every Day or No Way?

Mothers' Cognitions about Relational Aggression: Associations with Discipline Responses, Children's Normative Beliefs, and Peer Competence Prior research has shown that parental social cognitions are associated with child outcomes such as aggression. The goal of this study was to examine mothers' cognitions about relational aggression, and to explore linkages between mothers' attributions and normative beliefs about aggression and children's competence with peers.

Relational Aggression and Adverse Psychosocial and Physical Health Symptoms Among Urban Adolescents The purpose of this study was to examine relational aggression and its relationship with adverse psychosocial and physical health symptoms among urban, African American youth.

Parent tip sheets on Relational Aggression, if you Suspect your Daughter is a Perpetrator or a Bystander?

Covert Abuse - Relational Aggression
and Bullying
The Double Dragon is an appropriate symbol for the topic of covert aggression and empowerment - two heads coming out of one body.

Adolescents' Social Reasoning About Relational Aggression An examination of early adolescents' reasoning about relational aggression, and the links that their reasoning has to their own relationally aggressive behavior.

What is
Relational Aggression?
f you have a tween, you need to understand it..

Correlation of the experience of peer relational aggression victimization and depression among African American adolescent females

In  the know zone - relational
Relational Aggression Overview. 

When Girls Become Bullies and Victims: Relational Aggression

The New Bully On The Block This article discusses proposes to illustrate a type of bullying behavior that pervades all of our relationships. They call it relational aggression.

Relational_aggression Relational aggression, also known as covert bullying From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

University of San Diego Promoting Healthy Relationships Relational Aggression

Relational aggression in children: The Ophelia Project makes a difference The full text of the article, 'Relational aggression in children discusses how the Ophelia Project makes a difference - from Camping Magazine.

The Ophelia Project  Relational aggression encompasses behaviors that harm others

Girls, Aggressive? Girls' relational aggression includes a range of behaviors such as. Patterns of relational aggression are seen in girls as young as 3 to 5 years of age.

Relational Aggression A high school student cried as she recounted being tormented in middle school by her classmates. For some reason she was targeted as a “dog."

Predictors of violence, antisocial behavior and relational This is a report on a project funded by the Criminology Research Council. The study aimed to contrast predictors of antisocial behavior in an Australian sample with those from a comparable US sample.

As the study of relational aggression progressed, it was discovered that girls were nicer than boys; that they didn't engage in bullying and domination of their schoolmates. The assumption was wrong.

Girls---Realities of Relational Aggressions - There are two types of relational aggression: Proactive and reactive. Proactive relational aggression is when behaviors are a means for achieving a goal.

Relational Aggression Blog - Girl's beating girls

Aggressive Girls - An Article for Teachers

Penn State Erie research on relational aggression leads to intervention

Highbeam Research - Caught Between Stages: Relational Aggression Emerging as a Developmental Advance in At-Risk Preschoolers.

LIVESTRONG.COM Lifestyle, fitness & health information about Relational Aggression. How Does TV Violence in Childhood Relate to Aggression Later in Life?,

BYU News Release Reported in a special issue on relational aggression during early childhood in the ...A new study out of Brigham Young University shows that relational aggression - harming others through purposeful manipulation and damage to relationships -- may be associated with social prominence as early as 4 and 5 years of age.

Courage for Youth, Kelowna, BC A non-profit association dedicated to creating a culture where young people are safe from bullying, suicide, depression, eating disorders, poor self self-esteem 

Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Relational aggression and peer relations One of the strongest behavioral predictors of peer rejection in boys is physical aggression. Physical aggression in girls is much less common, and other behavioral predictors of rejection in girls have not been well documented.

USD: Wellness: Promoting Healthy
Relational aggression is covert aggressive behavior that is intended to harm someone by damaging or manipulating his or her relationships.


Relational Aggression Many researchers currently acknowledge and define three different types of aggression: a) Physical Aggression; b) Verbal Aggression; and c) Relational (or 'Alternative) Aggression

Relational Aggression on Myspace Relational Aggression's profile on Myspace, the leading social entertainment destination powered by the passion of our fans

Relational Aggression in Middle School: Educational Implications This article provides an overview of current knowledge on relational aggression including its definition, its link to a number of adjustment difficulties, and contexts contributing to the maintenance of relational aggression.

The Ophelia Project - Leading Resource On Relational Aggression

Relational Aggression in a College Sample An exploration of overt and relational aggression at the collegiate level.

Family relationship quality, gender role orientation, and relational aggression in adolescence Recent research has identified a relational form of aggression in which harm is inflicted through the manipulation and destruction of peer relationships, as opposed to behaviors in which harm is inflicted through physical damage

Relational aggression - Psychology Wiki Relational aggression is a term used to describe psychological (social/emotional) aggression between people in relationships.

Relational Aggression Mean girls...female bullies...verbal abuse...excluding...harassment...gossip All those, and more, make up Relational Aggression

How Girls Fight This month's feature story discusses "relational aggression," a kind of hurtful behavior that girls employ more often than boys.

Class Notes on Relational Aggression Relational Aggression - acts aimed at damaging an adversary's friendships, self-esteem

Girl Scouts of Western Washington Issue: Relational Aggression It Does Impact Girl Scouts (Reproduced with permission from Girl Scouts of Nassau County, New York.) 


Giggles and Whispers: Aggression in Middle School Girls Equally powerful as relational aggression itself is the constant, self-imposed threat of relational aggression. Why else would I have pretended to enjoy UConn games in front of my sporty friends? Why else would I have sat dumbly in the cafeteria while my friends teased me about the zucchini-chicken grinder I brought for lunch? Like butterflies camouflaged to blend in with tree bark, young girls see conforming as a tool for survival in a world that seeks to destroy anything that stands out.

Overt and Relational Aggression and
Overt and Relational Aggression and Victimization: Multiple Perspectives within the School Setting

The ABCs of Bullying Children and adolescents may use a variety of methods to hurt one another. The most well known form of bullying is physical aggression. This may include hitting, kicking, punching, or destruction of property. Verbal bullying may include teasing, name-calling, and taunting a child to make him or her angry. Physical and verbal bullying are both considered direct forms of bullying.
There also are indirect forms of bullying. Examples include spreading rumors, excluding others from a group, and enlisting someone else to assault someone for the bully.

Bullying Institute Zogby Poll - The Workplace Bullying Institute U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey September, 2007

Girls and Relational Aggression: A Review of Odd Girl Out

Girls, Aggressive?

Relational Aggression: The Social
Destruction of Self Narratives
Studies that substantiate the cultural wisdom that boys are more aggressive than girls appear to have a bias built into key defining elements of the research itself.

Relational Aggression, Physical
Aggression, and Children
A Longitudinal Study of Relational Aggression, Physical Aggression, and Children's Social-Psychological Adjustment 

Interview with Rachel Simmons, Odd Girl Out Boys act out or get into fights to show aggression. Girls don't have the cultural consent to express anger in this way, so they express it in covert but damaging ways -the dirty looks, the taunting notes, total exclusion from "the group." Every generation of women can tell stories of being bullied, but Odd Girl Out examines and explains this problem for the first time.

Meanness In Girls Can Start in Preschool Meanness in girls can start when they still are toddlers, a Brigham Young University study found. It found that girls as young as 3 or 4 will use manipulation and peer pressure to get what they want.

THE FACE AS A DETERMINING FACTOR FOR SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL Appearance has been shown to affect the way humans behave, specifically through the self-fulfilling prophecy effect. The purpose of this study was to find a link among sociometric status, relational aggression and facial structure.

Girls are Worse: Ghetto Girls, Tomboys and the Meaning of Girl Fights Although boys engage in more fights than girls, there has been a growing amount of research devoted to understanding the aggressive and antisocial behavior of girls.

A Review of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls The book discusses patterns in the origins of relational aggression.

Abundant Life Academy - Teen Aggression
It's not just a stereotype: Popular teens really are meaner than their peers--at least according to a study in the May issue of Developmental Psychology

Illinois Wesleyan Study Shows Girls Exhibit Relational Aggression A cross-cultural study of children in the United States and Indonesia has concluded that girls in both cultures engage in relational aggressive behavior more frequently than do boys.

Relational Agression University of San Diego

Relational aggression Summary  is psychological (social/emotional) aggression between people in relationships. Relational aggression is a form of aggression where the group is used as a weapon to assault others and others' relationships. It uses lies, secrets, betrayals and other dishonest tactics to destroy or damage the relationships and social standing of others in the group.

PSY 376 Aggression  A behavior between two species intending to inflict physical or emotional harm and/or pain. "Aggression begins in late infancy and by the early preschool years, two general types of aggression emerge: instrumental aggression and hostile aggression (Berk, 2007)." It oftentimes comes about following a large disappointment or frustration outside of one's own control. It is usually characterized by irrational behavior, including hostility.

Early Parenting and Relational Aggression in Preschool This study investigated the early parent-child relationship and associations with preschoolers' use of relational aggression. Analyses yielded significant associations between preschoolers use of relational aggression and parent's report of psychological control, parenting style, and attachment relationship (reunion behaviors).

Adolescent Outcome Expectations - An assessment of adolescents' relational aggression and outcome expectancies for relational aggression in three different relationship contexts (acquaintanceship, friendship, and dating).

Mean girls start in preschool, BYU study shows

Adolescents' Decisions About Verbal and Physical Aggression

Helping the Young Victims of Emotional Bullying

What Research Says About Relational
Since relational aggression is still a relatively new topic among scholars, there is not an abundant amount of research on it.

Gender Differences in Reactions to Relational Aggression. The current study investigated relational aggression in college students. Participants answered questions about general aggressive tendencies and imagined themselves the victims of relational aggression. Students claimed they would engage in relational aggression more often than physical aggression. More women than men generated a relationally aggressive response for a hypothetical romantic scenario.

Among young teens, aggression equals popularity

Relational Aggression | Parental
Alienation is Child Abuse
Relational aggression is psychological (social/emotional) aggression between people in relationships. 

Girls' Relational Aggression:
Gossip, Rumors,and Name Calling
This article examines girls' experiences as predators in their deliberate intent to harm another girl's reputation through gossip, rumors, and name-calling.

Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment

Paper on Relational Aggression

Children Today - Relational Aggression - Helping the Young Victims of Emotional Bullying

Relational Aggression, Physical Aggression and Deception During Early Childhood A short-term longitudinal study examined relational and physical aggression and deceptive behavior among 120 preschool-aged children (M = 44.36 months old, SD = 11.07).

Relational Aggression- Girl Bullying
You Tube Video

How to help your daughter deal with social issues at school A fellow mom wonders how to help her first-grade daughter, who's dealing with a lot of social issues at school. Says Mom, "Girls can be so fickle - best friends one day, ignoring each other the next. I would love to know what I can say that's both comforting and wise when a friend turns on her for the day."

Girls use a different kind of weapon

Child and Parent Perceptions of Relational Aggression within Urban Predominantly African American Children's Friendships: Examining Patterns of Concordance

Relational aggression is a form of aggression characterized by the use of relationships to manipulate others. This is a link to a list of resources on this subject

No Way RA - Say No to Relational Aggression Relational aggression (RA) seems to be 'news' these days. Despite an incredible awareness-raising through books and movies over the last two years, it's not unusual for a reporter, a parent, or a teacher to ask me, 'So what is relational aggression?'

Relational Aggression is Emotional Violence

Relational aggression: a review and conceptualization of aggression and identified unique correlates of relational aggression.

Relational Aggression - Covert Abuse - Invalidation Relational Aggression, also known as covert bullying, social aggression or female bullying, is a psychological and emotional form of abuse, hiding behind a smokescreen of lies and manipulation. Relational aggression uses relationships to inflict injury upon another. It's characterized by gossip, teasing, slander and exclusion.


When Girls Become Bullies and Victims: Relational Aggression The term "relational aggression" is used to describe a type of bullying primarily used by pre-adolescent and adolescent girls to victimize other girls -- a covert use of relationships as weapons to inflict emotional pain.

Relational Aggression 201 - The Who, What, and Why of RA Mean girls grow up to be mean women, make no mistake about that.

Interparental conflict and child and adolescent aggression: An examination of overt and relational aggression. The relationship between interparental conflict and overt aggression has been a consistent finding for males, but not for females. As a result, females have been thought to be less affected by parental disputes. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether parental conflict could predict aggression in males and females if aggression is operationalized to include both the overt type that is common among males and the relational type that is more common in females

Mean girls syndrome studied Jamie Ostrov believes that some of the relational aggression behaviors that lead to problems for girls in their teen years begin as early as age 3 - gossip, reputation-bashing, social exclusion and boyfriend swiping - and can turn adolescence into an emotional land mine for young women. This is the so-called "mean girls" syndrome that has captivated the media's attention in recent years.

Girls Show Aggression Across Cultures cross-cultural study of children in the United States and Indonesia has concluded that girls in both cultures engage in relational aggressive behavior more frequently than do boys.

Research-Based Articles and Books on Bully/Peer Victimization; Things You Can Do to Stop Bullying; LGBT bullying

The Link Between Popularity, Social Status and Aggression in Children Researchers interested in child and adolescent peer relations have frequently focused on the role of aggression in the peer group. Traditionally, aggression has been considered a negative behavior with negative consequences. For example, aggressive children and adolescents tend to be rejected by their peers in their classroom or grade.

Young Aggressors and the Children They Menace -- Without Intervention, Both Groups Are Headed for Serious Trouble Although scientists say there is no proven way to stop peer aggression and bullying behavior in young children, a psychologist at the University at Buffalo says that the consequences of the behavior are so serious for all parties involved that it should be stopped in its tracks by anyone who observes it.

Predictors of violence, antisocial behavior and relational by contrasting predictors of antisocial behavior in an Australian sample against those from a comparable USA sample this study will add to understanding of the relevance of USA crime prevention science for Australia. A unique feature of this project is that it examines societal responses to antisocial behavior (e.g., arrests, school suspensions) and their impact on subsequent antisocial behavior.

Sex Differences Panel Presentation Summary The purpose of this particular article is to 'investigate more directly the reasons that teenage girls give for using indirect aggression toward peers,'

Strong Moms Strong Girls - Relational Aggression: What is it? Relational aggression is real and, it hurts!

An Introduction to Relational Aggression - From the National Association of School Psychologists

The Peer Nomination Instrument The Peer Nomination Instrument assesses relational and overt aggression and has been used to identify aggressive children in the classroom.

Myspace - Relational Aggression is in your extended network

Social or Relational Aggression - What is it? Frequently Asked Questions: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & SOME DO'S & DON'TS. What's the difference between Relational Aggression and Bullying?

Girls use a different kind of weapon Psychologists in the juvenile justice system say they commonly see 'relational aggression' in girls.

Bullying and relational aggression reources - Cyyber bullying, Workplace bullying, institutional rage, bullying in school among others.

Relational Aggression in Young Girls:
Bullying at an Earlier Age
Different from physical or verbal abuse, relational aggression creates a hostile environment in schools by using subtle manipulation to hurt other children.

Relational Aggression - Some Observations

Stop RA - About the Guide...

Youtube - Relational Aggression

Among young teens, aggression equals popularity It's not just a stereotype: Popular teens really are meaner than their peers--at least according to a study in the May issue of Developmental Psychology

Bullying Among Girls Until quite recently, the literature on bullying focused solely on physical and verbal aggression. Since the 1990s, however, researchers have also begun to examine relational aggression. Relational aggression refers to any act that actively excludes a person from making or maintaining friendships or being integrated into the peer group--such as spreading rumors, or excluding and socially isolating a person.

Sex Roles: A Journal of Research - Adolescent girls' coping with relational aggression

Children Today ? Relational Aggression Helping the Young Victims of Emotional Bullying Bullying has many faces. It can be physical or verbal. The kind Allie suffered and that is fleshed out in Ludwig's book is called relational aggression, a phrase coined only nine years ago.

Healthcare POV Blog - According to a 2007Zogby poll, 37 percent of Americans have been bullied at work.

Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Relational aggression and peer relations: Gender and developmental issues One of the strongest behavioral predictors of peer rejection in boys is physical aggression. Physical aggression in girls is much less common, and other behavioral predictors of rejection in girls have not been well documented. We investigated the relationship between three behaviors (physical aggression, relational aggression, and Prosocial behaviors) and three social outcomes (peer rejection, acceptance, and reciprocal friendships) in third- and sixth-grade girls and boys.

Relational Aggression - Resources, Theory and Research

Courage for Youth - The Issues - Relational Aggression

Girls Bullying Girls

Relational Aggression in Middle School

Clubophelia - For girls and boys, relationships with peers can influence overall physical and mental wellbeing. We know that in and out of school, youth who are connected and have a network of support tend to thrive, while those who feel friendless and disconnected don't. RA or relational aggression is a behavior that can fracture friendships, divide students into groups, and isolate individuals.


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