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Bullying Among Girls
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Topics of Interest

Bullying Among Girls

Sticks and Stones
Sticks and Stones, Anonymous


Until quite recently, the literature on bullying focused solely on physical and verbal aggression.  Since the 1990s, however, researchers have also begun to examine relational aggression.  Relational aggression refers to any act that actively excludes a person from making or maintaining friendships or being integrated into the peer group--such as spreading rumors, or excluding and socially isolating a person (e.g., Bjoerkqvist, Lagerspetz, & Kaukianen, 1992).  Studies have found that while boys tend to use overt forms of aggression (such as physical and verbal aggression) in bullying, girls' bullying behaviors often focus on damaging an individual's social connections within the peer group (e.g., Crick & Grotpeter, 1995; Crick, Casas, & Ku, 1999).  Researchers are beginning to broaden their definitions of aggression and bullying, and to examine the consequences of relational aggression for all parties involved (e.g., Crick, 1996; Tomada & Schneider, 1997).  The topic of relational aggression has also captured the attention of the general public, through such books as Rachel Simmons' (2002) Odd Girl Out.

This section is devoted to discussions exploring relational aggression, and other topics related to bullying that are of special concern to girls.  Two reviews of Simmons' Odd Girl Out are also included.

Female Bullying: Beyond the Bully-Victim Dyad / Cortney C. Rhadigan
(Word Version, PDF Version)

A Review of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls / Rachel Legg
(Word Version, PDF Version)

A Review of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls / Cristina Calcagno
(Word Version, PDF Version)


Bjoerkqvist, K., Lagerspetz, K. M. J., & Kaukianen, A. (1992). Do girls manipulate and boys fight? Developmental trends in regard to direct and indirect aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 18, 117-127.

Crick, N. R., & Grotpeter, J. K. (1995). Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment. Child Development, 66, 710-722.

Crick, N. R. (1996).  The role of overt aggression, relational aggression, and prosocial behavior in the prediction of children's future social adjustment. Child Development, 67, 2317-2327.

Crick, N. R., Casas, J. E., & Ku, H. (1999).  Relational and physical forms of peer victimization in preschool. Developmental Psychology, 35, 376-385.

Simmons, R. (2002). Odd girl out: The hidden culture of aggression in girls. New York: Harcourt.

Tomada, G., & Schneider, B. H. (1997). Relational aggression, gender, and peer acceptance. Developmental Psychology, 33, 601-609.