Physical and verbal aggression is an increasing problem inboth middle and high schools across the United States. While physical forms of aggression are targeted in traditional “bullying” programs, relational aggression (RA), or the use of relationships to hurt another, is often not detected or addressed. For girls in the stage of identity formation, RA can impact negatively on self-concept, peer relationships, school performance, and mental and physical health. An innovative program designed specifically to help middle school girls confront and cope with issues related to RA was developed, implemented, and evaluated in two school systems. Attitudes and self-reported behaviors were measured before and after the program. Results show an improvement in relationship skills after participation in the program. Most noticeable improvements were in a girl's stated willingness to become involved when witnessing another girl being hurt and girls benefiting from the mentoring they received from high school juniors and seniors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality