Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Adaptive correlates of socially aggressive behavior in peer relationships

This study examined concurrent and longitudinal associations among overt and social forms of aggression, peer status, and friendship quality over an 11-month period. A sample of 559 adolescents (50% girls) in grades 6-8 participated in the study. Participants completed a measure of friendship quality at both time points. Measures of aggression and peer status (preference-based and reputation-based popularity) were collected using a standard sociometric procedure. Results suggested a modest curvilinear effect such that high levels of social aggression were associated with slight increases in both preference- and reputation-based popularity for boys. No effects were revealed for the prediction of either of the peer status constructs from social aggression for girls. With respect to friendship variables, high levels of overt aggression were associated with a lower likelihood of friendship reciprocity, whereas high levels of social aggression were associated with less stable friendships over time. High levels of both overt and social aggression were associated with slight decreases in self-reported positive and negative friendship quality for boys and girls. Implications for understanding the complex patterns of association among different forms of aggression, peer group status, and friendship quality are discussed.