Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Psychology
Jeffrey H. Kahn
Relational aggression is a devastating problem that has long-lasting consequences for children, especially girls. Although some studies have found that girls who disclose more to their friends experience higher levels of relational aggression, other studies have found that those who experience aggression disclose less than those who do not experience aggression. It is possible that this difference is related to the type of friendships being assessed and who is describing the friendship (i.e., self-report versus peer report). The purpose of this study was to expand on previous research regarding self-disclosure and relational aggression by addressing these differences. First, this study addressed children's experiences in three relationship contexts: dyadic friendships, friendship networks, and peer groups. This study also included both self- and peer-reports. It was hypothesized that the association between relational aggression and self-disclosure would depend on the specific relationship context being assessed. The study included 62 girls from a community-based social organization and 37 girls from a high school setting. Each participant completed a peer nomination form and self-report measures regarding her friendships with other girls. Results showed that perpetration of relational aggression was positively associated with being victimized by relational aggression, especially within dyadic relationships and friendship networks. Disclosing personal information was positively associated with being a confidant to other girls, especially within friendship networks. Victimization and disclosing were positively correlated among the peer group in the school sample. Differences between the community sample and school sample were primarily seen within the peer group. Implications for interventions to reduce relational aggression are discussed.
Jones, Jayme Lee, "Children's Experiences with Relational Aggression and Their Disclosure to Their Friends: an Evaluation of Dyads, Friendship Networks, and Peer Groups" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 184.