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The Development of Relational Aggression$
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Sarah M. Coyne and Jamie M. Ostrov

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190491826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190491826.001.0001

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Examining Relational Aggression in an Individual Differences Context

Examining Relational Aggression in an Individual Differences Context

Contributions from Personality and Genetics

(p.152) 10 Examining Relational Aggression in an Individual Differences Context
The Development of Relational Aggression

Jennifer L. Tackett

Avantè J. Smack

Kathleen W. Reardon

Oxford University Press

Individual differences, such as normal-range personality, personality pathology, and genetics (specifically behavioral genetics), are variables or constructs that can be used to distinguish people. Individual differences have also been used to understand differences in antisocial behavior, including relational aggression, and can help inform the scientific conceptualization of this behavior. This chapter summarizes evidence for individual differences in relational aggression in three dimensions: normal-range personality, personality pathology, and behavioral genetics. Relationally aggressive behaviors are associated with normal-range personality traits, including high negative affect and low interpersonal and intrapersonal self-regulation. Relational aggression also overlaps with personality pathology. With regard to genetics, relational aggression can be explained by genetic factors and also shows substantial influences from environmental factors. Taken together, relational aggression is probably influenced by a number of internal and external factors, and individual differences research highlights potential heterogeneity in the construct.

Keywords:   relational aggression, social aggression, indirect aggression, aggression personality, big five, personality pathology, behavioral genetics

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