Parenting and relational aggression

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© Oxford University Press 2018. All rights reserved. Many studies have considered whether parents play a role in either promoting or moderating their children’s engagement in relational aggression (also known as indirect or social aggression). This is not surprising, given the consistent parenting correlates of physical aggression in prior research. There is evidence of fairly regular correspondence between children’s relational aggression and their parenting and home environment. We comprehensively consider the range of existing studies that have considered parenting correlates, and we group similar studies together. While most studies have utilized social learning theory as the foundation for empirical inquiry, there are researchers who consider alternative theories (attachment, social cognition) and emphases (e.g., direct vs. indirect effects of parenting) in their consideration of individual differences for relational aggression. Parenting influences are also qualified by children’s differential susceptibilities (e.g., biological or temperamental variations). In considering all of these issues, the contrast with physical aggression is carefully observed.

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The Development of Relational Aggression

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