This study assessed girls' and boys' dominance-related behaviors (aggressive, commanding, submissive, and neutral behaviors) as they naturally occurred during interactions with male and female peers and evaluated the possibility that such behaviors elicit aggression from peers. Using a focal observational procedure, young girls' and boys' (N = 170; 54% boys) naturally occurring dominance-related behaviors and male and female peers' aggressive responses to those behaviors were recorded multiple times each week across the academic year. Findings suggested that same-gender aggression occurred at similar rates as other-gender aggression once tendencies toward gender-segregated play were controlled. Additionally, there were both gender-based similarities and differences in children's use of dominance-related behaviors in peer interactions and as antecedents for peers' aggression. The findings have implications for the literatures on aggression and gendered peer interactions.
- Social dominance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies