Powerlessness and the Use of Indirect Aggression in Friendships

Powerlessness and the Use of Indirect Aggression in Friendships Aggression in girls, especially indirect aggression perpetrated by girls toward other girls, has received increasing attention in the popular press. Various explanations have been offered to explain why girls might use indirect methods more so than boys, including both biological and social explanations. We tested a social contextual explanation; that is, that powerlessness is associated with the use of indirect aggression strategies. Power was conceptualized as both an individual difference variable and as an interpersonal variable. In two studies, we found that for both men and women, lack of power in same gender friendships (defined as anxiety about one’s status in friendships) was associated with greater use of indirect aggression strategies. Further, individual differences in deferent personality characteristics and lack of relational control in a friendship were unrelated to the use of indirect aggression. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Powerlessness and the Use of Indirect Aggression in Friendships

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-006-9103-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Aggression in girls, especially indirect aggression perpetrated by girls toward other girls, has received increasing attention in the popular press. Various explanations have been offered to explain why girls might use indirect methods more so than boys, including both biological and social explanations. We tested a social contextual explanation; that is, that powerlessness is associated with the use of indirect aggression strategies. Power was conceptualized as both an individual difference variable and as an interpersonal variable. In two studies, we found that for both men and women, lack of power in same gender friendships (defined as anxiety about one’s status in friendships) was associated with greater use of indirect aggression strategies. Further, individual differences in deferent personality characteristics and lack of relational control in a friendship were unrelated to the use of indirect aggression.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 22, 2006

References

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