Aggressive behavior in girls has received far less attention than similar problems in boys. This study examined self-representation, and others' representation of self, as predictors of relational aggression, overt aggression, and assaultive behavior in 32 girls and 52 boys, 10 to 17 years of age, referred for assessment due to significant aggressive and delinquent behavior problems. As predicted, negativity of self-representation predicted relational aggression in girls but not boys. Negativity of self-representation also predicted overt aggression and assaultive behavior in both girls and boys. Parental representations of self were not predictive in this sample; however, negativity of peer representations of self, was associated with increased relational aggression in girls and decreased relational aggression in boys. Negativity of peer representations of self also predicted overt aggression and assaultive behavior in both girls and boys. Results suggest that the evaluation of self-other representations may be valuable in the assessment of risk for gender specific patterns of aggression.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't