Normative Beliefs Regarding Aggression in Emerging Adulthood
relational aggression, social aggression, indirect aggression, emerging adulthood
Few studies have examined the nature of aggression in emerging adulthood (ages 18–25), a unique developmental period wherein relationships become increasingly important and intimate. Consistent with a greater emphasis on relationships, relationally manipulative forms of aggression may be particularly salient during this time period. Based on content analysis of perceptions of 134 undergraduate students, this study documents a significant spectrum of normative aggressive behaviors among emerging adults. Participant responses were coded into categories reflective of current aggression research. Findings indicate that perceptions of salient aggressive strategies vary by gender of both the aggressor and the victim. For example, male aggression was most often described as being verbal or directly physical in nature, especially in same‐sex dyads. In contrast, female aggression was most often described as being indirectly relational, verbal, or non‐verbal (ignoring/avoiding) across dyads. However, direct relational aggression was also fairly prominent in perceptions of female aggression toward males.
Original Publication Citation
Nelson, D. A., *Springer, M. M., Nelson, L. J., & *Bean, N. H. (2008). Normative beliefs regarding aggression in emerging adulthood. Social Development, 17, 638-660.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Nelson, David A.; Springer, Melanie M.; Nelson, Larry J.; and Bean, Nathaniel H., "Normative Beliefs Regarding Aggression in Emerging Adulthood" (2008). Faculty Publications. 4563.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2008
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