Overt and relational aggression and perceived popularity: developmental differences in concurrent and prospective relations

Dev Psychol. 2004 May;40(3):378-87. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.40.3.378.


Relations of overt and relational aggression with perceived popularity among children and early adolescents were examined in 2 studies (Ns = 607 and 1,049). Among older youths, positive concurrent relations found between overt aggression and perceived popularity became nonsignificant when relational aggression was controlled, whereas positive associations found between relational aggression and perceived popularity held when overt aggression was controlled. Aggression and perceived popularity were not positively related for the younger participants. The 2nd study also examined the temporal ordering of these relations over 6 months. For older girls, positive relations between relational aggression and perceived popularity were bidirectional. For older boys, relational aggression did not predict increased perceived popularity, but perceived popularity predicted increased relational aggression. Implications for intervention are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child Development*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Social Desirability*
  • Social Perception*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires