Costs and Benefits of Children’s Physical and Relational Aggression Trajectories on Peer Rejection, Acceptance, and Friendships: Variations by Aggression Subtypes, Gender, and Age

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Abstract

This study examined the associations between children’s co-occurring relational and physical aggression trajectories and their peer relations (i.e., peer rejection, peer acceptance, and reciprocated friendships) from late childhood (Grade 4; Mage = 10.0) to early adolescence (Grade 8; Mage = 13.9). Using a sample of 477 children (240 girls), the findings indicated there were multiple heterogeneous subgroups of children who followed distinct co-occurring aggression trajectories. For each of these subgroups, multiple indices of their relational development were assessed and findings revealed notable group differences. These results have implications about the potential costs and benefits of aggression, and how its associations with children’s peer relationships may vary as a function of aggression subtype, developmental timing, and gender.

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