The Role That Peers Play

Children generally establish strong, stable, mutual affiliations with peers similar to themselves in aggression, but aggressive children have more difficulty establishing such affiliations. The interaction of peer pairs containing at least one aggressive child was characterized by more frequent, lengthy, and intense conflict regardless of the affiliate relationship characterizing the pair. Researchers found that the amount of time children spent interacting with aggressive peers predicted changes in observed and teacher-rated aggression three months later.

Peer estimation of aggression was found to be internally more consistent than self-estimation. This was true of both sexes for both the aggressive and victim version of the test. Participants seem to be more reliable when they estimate the degree to which they are the victims of others' aggression than when they estimate the degree to which they themselves are aggressive. This is particularly true for girls.

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