Direct and indirect aggression during childhood and adolescence: A meta-analytic review of gender differences, intercorrelations, and relations to maladjustment

Noel A. Card, Brian D. Stucky, Gita M. Sawalani, Todd D. Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

999 Scopus citations

Abstract

This meta-analytic review of 148 studies on child and adolescent direct and indirect aggression examined the magnitude of gender differences, intercorrelations between forms, and associations with maladjustment. Results confirmed prior findings of gender differences (favoring boys) in direct aggression and trivial gender differences in indirect aggression. Results also indicated a substantial intercorrelation (r̄ =.76) between these forms. Despite this high intercorrelation, the 2 forms showed unique associations with maladjustment: Direct aggression is more strongly related to externalizing problems, poor peer relations, and low prosocial behavior, and indirect aggression is related to internalizing problems and higher prosocial behavior. Moderation of these effect sizes by method of assessment, age, gender, and several additional variables were systematically investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1185-1229
Number of pages45
JournalChild development
Volume79
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

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