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Distinguishing among nondirect forms of aggression



This study explored the relationships and differences among two measures of indirect aggression [Bjorkqvist et al., 1994; Richardson and Green, 1997] and one of relational aggression [Crick and Grotpeter, 1995]. Over 300 students (mean age 22.8 years; 61.5% female) from two colleges in the Southeastern United States completed measures of indirect and relational aggression and related constructs (e.g., empathy, anger expression, direct aggression). Although there were subtle differences among the three measures with regard to their relationships with associated variables, overall the patterns of relationships were similar as well as distinct from the pattern for direct aggression. Factor analysis of scores for measures of aggression revealed that the indirect and relational measures composed a single factor of nondirect aggression, separate from direct aggression. Further factor analysis of all unique items from the nondirect scales found the overall construct of nondirect aggression to comprise six distinct factors. Implications for applications and further research are discussed. Aggr. Behav. 37:291–301, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.