Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 431–440 | Cite as

Social-Cognitive and Behavioral Correlates of Aggression and Victimization in Boys' Play Groups

  • David Schwartz
  • Kenneth A. Dodge
  • John D. Coie
  • Julie A. Hubbard
  • Antonius H. N. Cillessen
  • Elizabeth A. Lemerise
  • Helen Bateman


A contrived play group procedure was utilized to examine the behavioral and social-cognitive correlates of reactive aggression, proactive aggression, and victimization via peers. Eleven play groups, each of which consisted of six familiar African-American 8-year-old boys, met for 45-min sessions on five consecutive days. Social-cognitive interviews were conducted following the second and fourth sessions. Play group interactions were videotaped and examined by trained observers. High rates of proactive aggression were associated with positive outcome expectancies for aggression/assertion, frequent displays of assertive social behavior, and low rates of submissive behavior. Reactive aggression was associated with hostile attributional tendencies and frequent victimization by peers. Victimization was associated with submissive behavior, hostile attributional bias, reactive aggression, and negative outcome expectations for aggression/assertion. These results demonstrate that there is a theoretically coherent and empirically distinct set of correlates associated with each of the examined aggression subtypes, and with victimization by peers.

Bullying aggression social cognition 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bock, R. D. (1989). Multilevel analysis of educational data. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Boivin, M., Hymel, S., & Bukowski, W. M. (1995). The roles of social withdrawal, peer rejection, and victimization by peers in predicting loneliness and depressed mood in children. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 765–786.Google Scholar
  3. Burnstein, L. (1980). The analysis of multilevel data in educational research and evaluation. Review of the Research in Education, 8, 158–233.Google Scholar
  4. Bryk, A. S., & Raudenbush, S. W. (1992). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods. London, England: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, J. A. (1960). A coefficient of agreement of nominal scales. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 20, 37–46.Google Scholar
  6. Coie, J. D., & Dodge, K. A. (in press). Aggression and antisocial behavior. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) & N. Eisenberg (Vol. Ed.). Handbook of child Psychology, Vol. 3; Social, emotional, and personality development (pp. 547–641). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  7. Coie, J. D., Dodge, K. A., & Kupersmidt, J. B. (1990). Peer group behavior and social status. In S. R. Asher & J. D. Coie (Eds.), Peer rejection in childhood. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Coie, J. D., Dodge, K. A., Terry, R., & Wright, V. (1991). The role of aggression in peer relations: An analysis of aggression episodes in boys' play groups. Child Development, 62, 812–826.Google Scholar
  9. Coie, J. D., & Kupersmidt, J. B. (1983). A behavioral analysis of emerging social status in boys' groups. Child Development, 54, 1400–1416.Google Scholar
  10. Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1994). A review and reformulation of social information-processing mechanisms in children's social adjustment. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 74–101.Google Scholar
  11. Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1996). Social information-processing mechanisms in reactive and proactive aggression. Child Development, 67, 993–1002.Google Scholar
  12. Crick, N. R., & Grotpeter, J. K. (1995). Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment. Child Development, 66, 710–722.Google Scholar
  13. Dodge, K. A. (1983). Behavioral antecedents of peer social status. Child Development, 54, 1386–1399.Google Scholar
  14. Dodge, K. A. (1991). The structure and function of reactive and proactive aggression. In D. Pepler & K. Rubin (Eds.), The development and treatment of childhood aggression (pp. 201–218). Lawrence Erlbaum: Hilsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  15. Dodge, K. A., & Coie, J. D. (1987). Social information-processing factors in reactive and proactive aggression in children's peer groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 389–409.Google Scholar
  16. Dodge, K. A., Lochman, J. E., Harnish, J. D., Bates, J. E., & Pettit, G. S. (1997). Reactive and proactive aggression in school children and psychiatrically impaired chronically assaultive youth. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 37–51Google Scholar
  17. Dodge, K. A., Price, J. M., Coie, J. D., & Christopoulos, C. (1990). On the development of aggressive dyadic relationships in boys' peer groups. Human Development, 33, 260–270.Google Scholar
  18. Dodge, K. A., & Schwartz, D. (1997). Social information processing mechanisms in aggressive behavior. In J. Breiling & J. Maser (Eds.), Handbook of antisocial behavior (pp. 171–180). New York, Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Goldstein, H. (1987). Multilevel models in educational and social research. Oxford: London, England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Holm, S. (1979). A simple sequentially rejective multiple test procedure. Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, 6, 65–70.Google Scholar
  21. Hubbard, J. A. & Coie, J. D. (1994). Emotional correlates of social competence in children's peer relations. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 40, 1–20.Google Scholar
  22. Nasby, W., Hayden, B., & DePaulo, B. M. (1979). Attributional biases among aggressive boys to interpret unambiguous social stimuli as displays of hostility. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 89, 459–468.Google Scholar
  23. Neter, J., Wasserman, W., & Kutner, M. H. (1989). Applied linear regression models. Homewood, IL: Irwin.Google Scholar
  24. Olweus, D. (1978). Aggression in the schools: Bullies and their whipping boys. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.Google Scholar
  25. Parke, R. D., & Slaby, R. G. (1983). The development of aggression. In P. H. Mussen (Series Ed.) & E. M. Hetherington (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 4: Socialization, personality, and social development (pp. 547–641). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  26. Patterson, G. R., Littman, R. A., & Bricker. W. (1967). Assertive behavior in children: A step toward a theory of aggression. Monographs of the Society for Research in Children Development, 35 (5, Serial No. 113).Google Scholar
  27. Perry, D. G., Kusel, S. J., & Perry, L. C. (1988). Victims of peer aggression. Developmental Psychology, 24, 807–814.Google Scholar
  28. Perry, D. G., Perry, L. C., & Rasmussen, P. (1986). Cognitive social learning mediators of aggression. Child Development, 57, 700–711.Google Scholar
  29. Price, J. M., & Dodge, K. A. (1989). Reactive and proactive aggression in childhood: Relations to peer status and social context dimensions. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 17, 455–471.Google Scholar
  30. Schwartz, D., Dodge, K. A., & Coie, J. D. (1993). The emergence of chronic peer victimization in boys' play groups. Child Development, 64, 1755–1772.Google Scholar
  31. Schwartz, D., Dodge, K. A., Pettit, G. P., & Bates, J. E. (1997). The early socialization of aggressive victims of bullying. Child Development, 68, 665–675.Google Scholar
  32. Schwartz, D., McFadyen-Ketchum, S. A., Dodge, K. A., Pettit, G. P., & Bates, J. E. (1998). Peer victimization as a predictor of behavior problems at home and in school. Development and Psychopathology, 10, 87–100.Google Scholar
  33. Steiger, J. H. (1980). Tests for comparing elements of a correlation matrix. Psychological Bulletin, 87, 245–251.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Schwartz
    • 1
  • Kenneth A. Dodge
    • 2
  • John D. Coie
    • 3
  • Julie A. Hubbard
    • 4
  • Antonius H. N. Cillessen
    • 5
  • Elizabeth A. Lemerise
    • 6
  • Helen Bateman
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles
  2. 2.Duke UniversityDurham
  3. 3.Duke UniversityDurham
  4. 4.University of DelawareNewark
  5. 5.University of ConnecticutStorrs
  6. 6.Western Kentucky UniversityBowling Green

Personalised recommendations