Does Hostile Attributional Bias for Relational Provocations Mediate the Short-Term Association between Relational Victimization and Aggression in Preadolescence?
- 549 Downloads
This short-term longitudinal study examined the direct association between relational victimization and relational aggression over a five-month period, and proposed that hostile attributional bias for relational provocations mediated this association. Participants were 140 preadolescents (aged 9 to 11 years) in grades four and five. Relational victimization and relational aggression were assessed from self-reports. Hostile intent attributions were measured from preadolescent's responses to hypothetical provocation situations that depicted ambiguous relational aggression among peers. Concurrent and longitudinal findings revealed that more relationally victimized preadolescents were also more relationally aggressive toward their peers. Hostile attributions partially mediated the concurrent association between relational victimization and relational aggression at T1 only. Boys reported significantly higher levels of physical victimization, physical aggression, and relational aggression than girls. Implications for prevention programs are discussed.
KeywordsRelational victimization Relational aggression Hostile attributional bias Preadolescents
This research was funded by grants from American Psychological Foundation and Canadian Institute of Health Research Network to the second author, and a graduate scholarship from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to the first author. We would like to thank all of the children, parents, and teachers who participated.
- Casey-Cannon S, Hayward C, Gowan K (2001) Middle-school girls’ reports of peer victimization: Concerns, consequences, and implications. Professional School Counsel 5(2):138–147Google Scholar
- Crick NR (1995) Relational aggression: The role of intent attributions, feelings of distress, and provocation type. Dev Psychopathol 7:313–322Google Scholar
- Hodges EVE, Perry DG (1999) Personal and interpersonal antecedents and consequences of victimization by peers. J Pers Soc Psychol 67(4):677–685Google Scholar
- Ladd GW, Kochenderfer-Ladd B (2002) Identifying victims of peer aggression from early to middle childhood: Analysis of cross-informant data for concordance, estimation of relational adjustment, prevalence of victimization, and characteristics of identified victims. Psychol Assess 14(1):74–96PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lahey BB, Miller TL, Schwab-Stone M, Goodman SH, Waldman ID, Canino G, Rathouz PJ, Dennis KD, Bird H, Jensen PS (2000) Age and gender differences in oppositional behavior and conduct problems: A cross-sectional household study of middle childhood and adolescence. J Abnorm Psychol 109:488–503PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Leadbeater BJ, Hoglund W, Sangster N, Foran K, Yeung R (2006) The developmental course and contexts of peer aggression in late childhood and early adolescence: Implications for prevention programs. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
- Rys, GS, Bear GG (1997) Relational aggression and peer relations: Gender and developmental issues. Merrill-Palmer Quart 43:87–106Google Scholar
- Selman RL (1980) The growth of interpersonal understanding. Clinical and developmental analyses. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Steinberg MS, Dodge KA (1983) Attributional bias in aggressive adolescent boys and girls. J Soc Clin Psychol 1(4):312–321Google Scholar
- VanOostrum N, Horvath P (1997) The effects of hostile attribution on adolescents’ aggressive responses to social situations. Can J School Psychol 13(1):48–59Google Scholar