Department of Educational Psychology


Document Type


Date of this Version



Journal of School Psychology (2008) 46: 611-616. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2008.08.001.


Copyright 2008, Elsevier, published for the Society for the Study of School Psychology. Used by permission.


In recent decades, relational aggression has been type-cast as a female form of aggression and the literature has focused on the “gender dichotomy” in our understanding of aggressive behaviors. Girls have been characterized as more relational aggressive (e.g., threatening to withdraw from a relationship and manipulating relationships to damage others) than boys; and boys have been characterized as more physically aggressive than girls. However, other researchers have found no or weak gender differences in relational aggression. Our understanding of gender differences in aggressive behavior and how this affects the developmental progression of bullying and relational aggression among school-aged youth is murky, at best.