Parenting practices and the early socialisation of relational aggression among preschoolers

Sara E. Goldstein, Paul Boxer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The present study examines parents' responses to their young children's relationally aggressive behaviour and compares these with the responses regarding children's overtly aggressive behaviour. Parents' beliefs about discipline strategies for addressing relational versus overt aggression at home and at school are also examined. Additionally, links between parenting (specific to both aggression and general characteristics) and children's aggressive behaviour and adjustment are explored. Findings suggest that parents have more specific rules about, and are more likely to discipline, overt aggression than about relational aggression. Parents are more supportive of discipline for overt aggression than of that for relational aggression in school; parents also believe that their children should be relatively independent in coping with relational victimisation at school. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1559-1575
Number of pages17
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • aggression
  • parenting


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