Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress

Thesis Committee Member

Gary L. Canivez

Thesis Committee Member

Wesley D. Allan


Relational aggression, best defined as behavior that is meant to harm or significantly damage another's friendships, has been shown to peak in adolescence. Additionally, the parent-adolescent relationship has been shown to be related to relational aggression in adolescents' relationships in several ways. The purpose of this study was to examine adolescent relational aggression and how such behaviors are related to the parent-adolescent relationship. Specifically, this study assessed whether parent perceptions of relational aggression were similar to adolescent perceptions of the same behaviors. Moreover, the study examined whether there was a relationship between parent perceptions of relational aggression and whether or not adolescents engaged in relationally aggressive behavior.

Results indicate that there was a significant positive relationship between parents' and adolescents' perceptions of relational aggression. Furthermore, adolescents rated relationally aggressive behaviors as slightly less harmful than parents.