The allure of a mean friend: Relationship quality and processes of aggressive adolescents with prosocial skills

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Abstract

Recent theory on social dominance suggests that aggressive individuals should be socially successful if they also display prosocial behavior. The combination of coercive and prosocial strategies of resource control (i.e., bistrategic control) is thought to facilitate hierarchy ascension. Adolescents (N = 929, grades 7-10) were queried about the quality of their friendships and their friends' behavior towards them. The friendships of the aggressive bistrategic controllers (derived by peer nomination) were rated among the highest on intimacy, fun, and conflict. Additionally, bistrategic friendships had high levels of overt and relational aggression. Thus, bistrategic friendships yield high benefits but also costs. This study attempts to illuminate the peer regard - aggression paradox via an evolutionary approach to human status hierarchies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Aggression
  • Friendship quality
  • MACS models
  • Peer relations
  • Social dominance

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