Relational aggression at school: Associations with school safety and social climate

Sara E. Goldstein, Amy Young, Carol Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


The present study examines how exposure to relational aggression at school is associated with adolescents' perceptions of, and participation in, a hostile school environment. Participants were 1,335 African American and European American adolescents in grades 7 through 12 (52% female, 49% African American). Results indicate that exposure to relational aggression is associated with several components of adolescents' perceptions of the school climate. Adolescents exposed to high levels of relational aggression perceived their school to be less safe, and were less pleased with the general social atmosphere at school. Moreover, for males, but not females, exposure to relational aggression was associated with carrying a weapon to school. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed in terms of working toward safer school environments for adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-654
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Aggression
  • Relational aggression
  • School safety


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