Assessing relational and physical aggression among preschool children: Intermethod agreement

Mary A. Mcevoy, Theresa L. Estrem, Michael C. Rodriguez, Michelle L. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Researchers have assessed relational aggression (RA) and physical aggression (PA) primarily with teacher ratings and peer nominations. However, limited observational research exists in this area. This study compared three methods for assessing RA and PA: a teacher rating scale, a peer nomination measure, and a direct observation measure. Results supported previous research showing intermethod agreement between peer and teacher ratings of RA for girls and PA for boys. All three methods indicated that boys engaged in PA and RA more often than girls. However, teachers and peers agreed more often about incidences of RA and PA than did observers. Thus, a variety of evaluation tools may be necessary to assess preschoolers' types of aggression. Development of accurate, practical measures will provide educators with better identification, prevention, and intervention strategies for boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalTopics in Early Childhood Special Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003


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