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Journal Article


Sumrall SG, Ray GE, Tidwell PS. Aggressive Behav. 2000; 26(2): 179-191.


(Copyright © 2000, International Society for Research on Aggression, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)






The present study examined influences on girls' evaluations of relational aggression situations. Second-, third-, fifth-, and sixth-grade girls evaluated four relational aggression conflict scenarios in terms of attributions of aggressor's intentions, evaluator's behavioral response, evaluator's affective state, and how likely the situation was to actually occur. Girls evaluated intentions of a best friend more positively, reported being more mad at an enemy, and perceived conflict to be more likely to occur with an enemy than a best friend. Aggressor intentions in direct conflict scenarios (aggressor said something mean to evaluator) were perceived as more negative than aggressor intentions in indirect conflict scenarios (aggressor said something mean about evaluator to another peer). Younger girls reported intentions of their enemy as being more positive than did older girls. Further, older girls reported intentions of their best friend as being more positive than intentions of their enemy. Older girls also were more accurate in conceptualizing variations in the conflict setting (direct, indirect) and responding in a context-consistent manner, Findings are discussed in terms of the social-relational and social-situational processes that influence children's evaluations of relational aggression and how the current study extends previous research on relational aggression.


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