Title

Overt and Relational Aggression on the Playground: Correspondence Among Different Informants

Keywords

childhood aggressive behavior, bullying, playground behavior

Abstract

Recent research has focused on subtypes of children's aggressive behavior (e.g., instrumental, bullying, relational). However, little work with preschool children has explored intermethod agreement involving teacher ratings, peer behavior nominations, and playground behavior observations for these three different forms of aggression. This study attempted to fill this gap in the literature by using all three methods to examine aggressive subtypes of playground behavior in preschool as related to SES and gender. Data involving aggressive behavior of 241 4- to 5-year-old children in Head Start and university preschool programs were collected from peers, teachers, and observers. Results indicated that peers, teachers, and observers differentiated between general categories of relational aggression and overt aggression. However, peers did not distinguish between overt instrumental and bullying aggression. Peers viewed relational aggression, but not overt aggression, as being associated with anger and overt aggression with being mean. Observation, peer, and teacher scores were found to have greater intermethod agreement for overt rather than relational aggression. This pattern of findings was generally stronger for boys than for girls. Males tended to be rated and observed as more overtly aggressive, whereas females tended to be rated and observed as more relationally aggressive. Higher SES children were rated as displaying more verbal and nonverbal forms of relational aggression, whereas lower SES children were rated as engaging in more overt bullying aggression. Finally, more overtly and relationally aggressive children were less accepted by peers, with overt aggression being more strongly linked to rejection for boys and relational aggression being related to rejection for girls.

Original Publication Citation

McNeilly-Choque, M. K., Hart, C. H., Robinson, C. C., Nelson, L. J., & Olsen, S. F. (1996). Overt and relational aggression on the playground: Correspondence among different informants. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 11, 47-67.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

1996

Publisher

Journal of Research in Childhood Education

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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