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Open Access

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Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

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Month Degree Awarded



relational aggression, parenting


Relational aggression is associated with significant psychosocial consequences for children including anxiety, depression, and delinquency. Few research studies have examined the relationship between parenting and childhood relational aggression. Furthermore, only one previous published investigation has examined the relationship between observed parenting and child relational aggression. The current study examined the relationship between six observed parenting factors (laxness, overreactivity, negative affect, disparagement, problem-solving, and positive emotional support) and teacher-reported relational aggression. Forty-six children, mainly of European-American and Puerto-Rican descent, between 7 and 10 years old (M = 8.29, SD = .75), participated in the study. Observational data from a discipline (clean-up) task and a problem-solving task were used to assess the six parenting factors. In the overall sample, none of the parenting factors predicted child relational aggression. However, laxness significantly predicted relational aggression for girls. Furthermore, for Puerto Rican children, negative affect and disparagement predicted relational aggression. Future studies should continue to explore the relationship between relational aggression and parenting and attempt to identify protective factors for relational aggression.


First Advisor

David H. Arnold