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This research explored the contribution of social goal orientation, specifically, development (improving social skills and relationships), demonstration-approach (gaining positive judgments), and demonstration-avoidance (minimizing negative judgments). Children (= 373; M age = 7.97, SD = .34) were followed from 2nd to 3rd grades. Validity of the social goal orientation construct was established through correlations with situation-specific goals and social adjustment. Development goals predicted adaptive responses (more effortful engagement, problem solving, advice seeking; fewer involuntary responses); demonstration goals predicted maladaptive responses (less effortful engagement, problem solving; more disengagement, retaliation). This study contributes to theoretical understanding of the process of peer aggression and interventions to promote optimal social health.