Volume 79, Issue 5 p. 1185-1229

Direct and Indirect Aggression During Childhood and Adolescence: A Meta-Analytic Review of Gender Differences, Intercorrelations, and Relations to Maladjustment

Noel A. Card

Corresponding Author

Noel A. Card

University of Arizona

concerning this article should be addressed to Noel A. Card, Division of Family Studies and Human Development, University of Arizona, 1110 E. South Campus Drive, Tucson, AZ 85721-0033. Electronic mail may be sent to: [email protected].Search for more papers by this author
Brian D. Stucky

Brian D. Stucky

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

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Gita M. Sawalani

Gita M. Sawalani

University of Kansas

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Todd D. Little

Todd D. Little

University of Kansas

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First published: 15 September 2008
Citations: 1,180

We thank Juan Casas and Jamie Ostrov for commenting on a previous draft of this work. This work was supported in part by a National Institute of Mental Health Individual National Research Service Award (F32 MH072005) to the first author, a University of Kansas Undergraduate Research Award to the second author, and a NFGRF grant (2301779) from the University of Kansas to the fourth author.

Abstract

This meta-analytic review of 148 studies on child and adolescent direct and indirect aggression examined the magnitude of gender differences, intercorrelations between forms, and associations with maladjustment. Results confirmed prior findings of gender differences (favoring boys) in direct aggression and trivial gender differences in indirect aggression. Results also indicated a substantial intercorrelation (inline image= .76) between these forms. Despite this high intercorrelation, the 2 forms showed unique associations with maladjustment: Direct aggression is more strongly related to externalizing problems, poor peer relations, and low prosocial behavior, and indirect aggression is related to internalizing problems and higher prosocial behavior. Moderation of these effect sizes by method of assessment, age, gender, and several additional variables were systematically investigated.