Developmental Manifestations of Relational Aggression

Work Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Liberal Arts and Sciences


developmental manifestations; toddlerhood; early childhood; middle childhood; adolescence; emerging adulthood; adulthood; old age; social development; cognitive development


This chapter focuses on a review of the pertinent literature examining the developmental manifestations of engagement in relational aggression across the life course, from infancy to old age. Throughout the chapter, special attention is paid to the normative developmental changes taking place in the various domains of development that are believed to underlie the significant alterations taking place in the expression of relational aggression. While the primary emphasis is on changes in relational aggression in the peer group, a review of important differences across contexts (e.g., school, work, etc.) and close relationships (siblings, friendships, romantic relationships, etc.) are also discussed, as are important technological advances that have helped shape the form of these behaviors at different points in development.


This chapter appears in The Development of Relational Aggression, edited by Sarah M. Coyne and Jamie M. Ostrov, and published by Oxford Academic.