Popularity differentially predicts reactive and proactive aggression in early adolescence
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceAggressive Behavior, 42, 1, (2016), pp. 29-40
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI ON
SW OZ BSI BO
Previous research has indicated that peer popularity is associated with aggressive behavior. However, it is not yet clear whether popularity is uniquely related to different functions of aggression. In this study, we examined associations between peer-perceived popularity, and reactive and proactive aggression using a cross-sectional and a longitudinal design. Yearly sociometric measures of popularity, and reactive and proactive aggression were gathered from 266 seventh and eight grade adolescents (Mage grade 7 = 12.80, SDage = .40). Popularity was positively correlated with proactive aggression and negatively correlated with reactive aggression, both concurrently as over time. Curvilinear trends indicated that a significant minority of low versus high popular adolescents showed both functions of aggression. Somewhat stronger effects of popularity on proactive aggression were found for boys than girls. Stably popular adolescents showed the highest levels of proactive aggression, whereas stably unpopular youth showed the highest levels of reactive aggression. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
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