The present study aimed first to examine the trajectories of indirect aggression among girls from disadvantaged neighborhoods from childhood (M age = 8.38, SD = .91, range = 6.58–10.25) to early adolescence (M age = 11.28, SD = .93, range = 9.33–13.83), after controlling for physical aggression. Second, it aimed to identify possible individual, family, and peer risk factors, assessed in the early school years, which predispose subgroups of girls to use indirect aggression in an intense and persistent way. Three trajectories of indirect aggression were identified: 18.9 % (n = 57) of the girls followed a trajectory that started out at the mean and then increased (“mean-increasing”), 44.5 % (n = 134) of the girls followed a trajectory that started out at the mean and then decreased (“mean-decreasing”), and 36.5 % (n = 110) of the girls followed a trajectory that started out below the mean and then decreased (“low-decreasing”). Results from univariate analyses suggest that individual, family and peer risk factors predicted membership in the subgroup of girls who use indirect aggression more frequently and increasingly. However, in multivariate analyses, only the individual factor of surgency/extraversion predicted membership in this subgroup of girls. Hostile parent–child relationships also differentiated girls in the “mean-decreasing” group from the “low-decreasing” group. Interventions aimed at changing negative temperamental tendencies and interpersonal experiences with family and peers may break the cycle that reinforces frequent and persistent use of indirect aggression.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 13, 2016
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