Relational Aggression, Relational Victimization, and Language Development in Preschoolers


David Arnold, Department of Psychology, Tobin Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A


We investigated language development, relational aggression, and relational victimization in ethnically, socioeconomically diverse preschoolers. Relational aggression was positively related to language development. Girls were more relationally aggressive than boys, and higher-socioeconomic status (SES) children were more relationally aggressive and victimized than lower-SES children. Neither gender nor SES conclusively moderated the relation between language and relational aggression, though some findings suggest the possibility of stronger relations among boys and lower-SES children. Teachers agreed on ratings of relational aggression and relational victimization to a moderate extent.