Dyadic Peer Interactions: the Impact of Aggression on Impression Formation with New Peers

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Abstract

Little is known about youth’s initial interactions with previously unfamiliar peers and how aggression can affect behavior in these interactions. We observed previously unfamiliar youth engaging in a dyadic activity to determine how tendencies toward aggression related to behavior within the activity (i.e., collaboration) and how collaboration affected initial impression formation. From a dyadic perspective, we assessed how similarities versus differences in tendencies toward aggression affected the nature of the interaction. Participants were 108 5th grade dyads (M = 11.13 years; 50% female; 67% White), observed in a laboratory session. Teachers rated individuals’ aggression; ratings were used to calculate dyadic-level aggression (the discrepancy between partners). Observers rated dyads’ collaboration during the interaction and participants reported perceptions about their partner after the interaction. Results indicated that collaboration mediated the link between discrepancy in aggression and peers’ perceptions of one another. Specifically, dyads more discrepant in their aggression collaborated less and had less positive perceptions of one another. Results highlight the importance of considering a dyadic perspective and indicate a potential intervention point to improve youth’s peer relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-850
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 15 2019

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Collaboration
  • Dyad
  • Impression formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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