Gossip on the playground: Changes associated with universal intervention, retaliation beliefs, and supportive friends

Sabina Low, Karin S. Frey, Callie J. Brockman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Relational forms of aggression are known to increase during the middle school years. To date, the majority of efficacy studies of elementary school-based programs have focused on the reduction of physical and direct verbal aggression, to the exclusion of effects on relational aggression. Steps to Respect: A Bullying Prevention Program is one exception, which explicitly addresses relational forms of aggression such as malicious gossip and social exclusion. The current study assessed the short-term efficacy of Steps to Respect on reducing observed malicious gossip on the playground. Beliefs about aggressive norms and friends' social support were examined as moderators of program impact. Participants were 544 students from six schools in the Pacific Northwest. Mixed hierarchical modeling was used to test hypotheses. Results provide support for the effects of universal prevention programs on reducing relational aggression, and highlight the need to consider how aggression norms and supportive friends may impact victim responses and continued victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-551
Number of pages16
Journal School Psychology Review
Volume39
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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