Do physical and relational aggression explain adolescents' friendship selection? The competing roles of network characteristics, gender, and social status
Article first published online: 17 JUN 2011
© 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Volume 37, Issue 5, pages 417–429, September/October 2011
How to Cite
Dijkstra, J. K., Berger, C. and Lindenberg, S. (2011), Do physical and relational aggression explain adolescents' friendship selection? The competing roles of network characteristics, gender, and social status. Aggr. Behav., 37: 417–429. doi: 10.1002/ab.20402
- Issue published online: 19 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 17 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 MAY 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 17 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 9 AUG 2010
- Universidad Alberto Hurtado
- friendship selection;
- perceived popularity;
- longitudinal social network analyses (SIENA)
The role of physical and relational aggression in adolescents' friendship selection was examined in a longitudinal sample of 274 Chilean students from 5th and 6th grade followed over 1 year. Longitudinal social network modeling (SIENA) was used to study selection processes for aggression while influence processes were controlled for. Furthermore, the effects of network characteristics (i.e., reciprocity and transitivity), gender, and social status on friendship selection were examined. The starting assumption of this study was that selection effects based on aggression might have been overestimated in previous research as a result of failing to consider influence processes and alternative characteristics that steer friendship formation. The results show that selection effects of both physical and relational aggression disappeared when network effects, gender, and social status were taken into account. Particularly gender and perceived popularity appeared to be far more important determinants of friendship selection over time than aggression. Moreover, a peer influence effect was only found for relational aggression, and not for physical aggression. These findings suggest that similarity in aggression among befriended adolescents can be considered to be mainly a by-product rather than a leading dimension in friendship selection. Aggr. Behav. 37:417–429, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.