Publication Date

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Counselor Education

Abstract

A graduate student created and implemented a classroom guidance activity with middle school students on the topic of relational aggression. The purpose of this activity was to promote awareness on the prevalence of relational aggression and measure the sample student’s participation in relationally aggressive behaviors. A twenty item pre and postsurvey on aggression was given to a sample of 75 students at a Western New York middle school. The sample included 41 females and 34 males, ranging in age from 12-14. The sample included students from Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian racial backgrounds. Also included is a review of the current literature on relationally aggressive behaviors, differences in boys and girls in respect to relational aggression, the importance of relationships, cliques and popularity, the impact of aggression, and rationale for school based awareness and intervention. The project demonstrated that most students reported relationally aggressive behaviors before the classroom guidance activity was presented. There was an approximate 7% decrease in relationally aggressive behaviors on 17 of the survey items. Three of the survey items showed a 6% increase in reported behavior after the guidance activity. The project demonstrated that relational aggression occurs among boys and girls, and that it occurs across different racial groups. It also demonstrated that relational aggression is an important issue among middle school students. Implications for school based awareness, prevention, and intervention are necessary to combat relational aggression are also presented.

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