Adolescents' social reasoning about bystander responses to traditional and text message relational aggression

Emma Dawn Levine, Fordham University

Abstract

Research indicates that text messages are an increasingly common platform for relationally aggressive interactions among early adolescent girls. The present study examined how early adolescent girls reasoned about appropriate bystander responses to the gossip and peer exclusion subtypes of relational aggression, and whether their reasoning differed based on the relationship context (friend or acquaintance) or interaction context (face-to-face or text message). The participants were individually interviewed using a structured interview format comprised of eight vignettes, to which they were asked to express their beliefs about how the bystander should respond and to explain why they held that particular belief. Participants endorsed that the bystander should defend the victim in the majority of the vignettes. New to the present study was the finding that participants who were concerned about relationship maintenance were more varied in their ultimate action choices. Further, it appears that, regardless of the interaction context, both gossip and the peer exclusion of a friend may fall within the moral and relationship maintenance domains, while the peer exclusion of an acquaintance may be a mixed domain event.^

Subject Area

School counseling|Counseling Psychology|Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Levine, Emma Dawn, "Adolescents' social reasoning about bystander responses to traditional and text message relational aggression" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10000731.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10000731

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