Aggression in Children


childhood aggression, cyberbullying, child development, gender


From the scuffs and skirmishes that can be found on nearly any school playground to the cruelty and anonymity of cyberbullying, aggression is one aspect of child development that cannot be ignored. The primary aim oof this chapter is to examine the development of aggression in childhood. The chapter first begins with an overview of definitions. There are many different forms of aggression, and much controversy surrounding what terms to use. Therefore, an understanding of these issues is important before examining the actual development of aggressive behavior. Next, we will provide a developmental view of aggressive behavior and examine the stability of aggression over time. This is followed by an examination of sex differences in aggression, which shows that the stereotype of the "aggressive boy" and the "good girl" is incorrect. We then turn to the consequences of aggressive behavior to demonstrate that aggression hurts not only the victims of the behavior but also the aggressors themselves.

Original Publication Citation

Coyne, S. M., Nelson, D. A., ★ & Underwood, M. K. (2011). Aggression in children. In P. K. Smith & C. H. Hart (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Social Development, 2nd Ed.(pp. 491-509). Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Blackwell Publishing




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor