Group norms, intra-group position and children's aggressive intentions
This study aimed to explore the peer group's role in childhood aggression. Participants (N = 356), aged 8.92 to 13.67 years (M = 11.22, SD = .96), were asked to pretend that they had been placed in a team and were then provided with information regarding their team's norms (aggression vs. helping) and their position within the team (prototypical vs. peripheral). Subsequently, participants were asked to rate the likelihood that they would directly or indirectly aggress towards another team. When compared to children in the helping norm condition, those in the aggression norm condition reported a significantly higher likelihood of engaging in direct and indirect aggression. For indirect aggression, prototypical members of aggressive groups also reported being more likely to engage in such behaviour than peripheral members of these groups did. Further, peripheral members of aggressive groups reported a greater likelihood of engaging in indirect aggression than either peripheral or prototypical members of helping groups. The contribution of these results to our understanding of the group mechanisms underlying childhood aggression is discussed.
European Journal of Developmental Psychology
Psychology not elsewhere classified