Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Silverthorn, Persephanie

Second Advisor

Morris, Amanda

Third Advisor

Frick, Paul


The goal of this research was to determine whether relational aggression in girls was similar to overt aggression in boys in terms of social-psychological adjustment. A total of 199 fifth through ninth grade children (86 boys, 113 girls) participated in this study. Relational and overt aggression scores were used to form groups of children who varied on the two types of aggression. Results indicated that overtly aggressive boys did not differ from relationally aggressive girls in terms of depression, anxiety, psychopathy, sensation seeking, ADHD, delinquency, and drug use. Further, boys in the aggressive groups scored consistently higher than boys in the nonaggressive groups on all indices of maladjustment. The results of the current study provide support for the hypothesis that relational aggression in girls is not different from overt aggression in boys in terms of social-psychological adjustment problems.


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