Aggression from a Relational Perspective

Using data from a variety of projects, we are interested in exploring children and youth’s aggressive behavior, specifically from a relational or social perspective. Peer aggression is – inherently – a social behavior and involves, at a minimum, a perpetrator and target of the aggressive behavior. More often than not, however, aggressive behavior also involves other peers (e.g., as defenders, bystanders, etc.). As such, we attempt to understand and answer questions related to aggression from a relational perspective, including but not limited to:

  • How does aggression impact friendships and other social relationships?
  • How does the social group and one’s position within the social network impact aggression?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between perpetrator and target of aggression?
  • Under what circumstances and for what purpose do perpetrators select certain targets over others?
  • How does power play a role in aggression?

Andrews, N. C. Z., Hanish, L. D., & Pepler, D. J. (2020). A dyadic perspective on aggressive behavior between friends. Aggressive Behavior. doi:

Andrews, N. C. Z., Hanish, L. D., Updegraff, K. A., DeLay, D., & Martin, C. L. (2019). Dyadic peer interactions: The impact of aggression on impression formation with new peers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47, 839-850doi:

Andrews, N. C. Z., Hanish, L. D., & Santos, C. E. (2017). Does an aggressor’s target choice matter? Assessing change in the social network prestige of aggressive youth. Aggressive Behavior, 43, 364-374. doi: 10.1002/ab.21695