Prediction and Prevention of Peer Victimization in Early Elementary School

How Does Gender Matter?
  • Bonnie J. Leadbeater
  • Mandeep K. Dhami
  • Wendy L. Hoglund
  • Erin M. Boone
Part of the Perspectives in Law & Psychology book series (PILP, volume 19)


While all children engage in physical aggression (e.g., pushing and hitting) and relational aggression (e.g., spreading rumors and social exclusion), past research suggests that the former is more prevalent among boys, and the latter is typically more frequent among girls (Björkqvist, Lagerspetz, & Kuakiainen, 1992; Cairns, Cairns, Neckerman, Ferguson, & Gariepy, 1989; Crick, 1997; Crick & Grotpeter,1995; Lagerspetz, Bjorkqvist, & Peltonen, 1988; Owens, 1996; Smith & Sharp, 1994). Furthermore, the fact that children often interact with same-sex peers suggests these differences are also reflected in their victimization experiences, with boys generally reporting more physical and girls reporting more relational victimization (Crick et al., 2001). However, few gender differences in levels of physical victimization are evident for boys and girls in early school grades (Kochenderfer & Ladd, 1997). Moreover, while some studies suggest that boys are more likely to experience victimization than girls (e.g., Cleary, 2000; Dhami, Leadbeater, Hoglund, & Boone, 2003; Olweus, 1994; Whitney & Smith, 1993), others have found no significant gender differences in victimization of third to sixth graders (Crick & Grotpeter, 1996) and adolescents (Paquette & Underwood, 1999). These mixed findings suggest that we need to look beyond gender per se for explanations of gender differences that have been observed in risks for aggression and victimization.


Gender Difference Behavioral Problem Social Competence Relational Aggression Relational Victimization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonnie J. Leadbeater
    • 1
  • Mandeep K. Dhami
    • 1
  • Wendy L. Hoglund
    • 1
  • Erin M. Boone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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