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Positively Biased Self-Perceptions of Peer Acceptance and Subtypes of Aggression in Children
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    26423823
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5057533
  • Description:
    There is a growing body of research linking children's positively biased self-perceptions with higher levels of aggression. This study extended this area of research by examining prospective associations of positively biased self-perceptions of peer acceptance with overt and relational aggression. In addition, moderating effects of peer rejection were examined to test the "disputed overestimation hypothesis," which posits that the link between bias and aggression is limited to children who are rejected by their peers. Using a two-wave longitudinal design, measures of peer-rated and self-perceived peer acceptance and peer-rated overt and relational aggression were obtained for 712 children in 3rd through 5th grades (386 girls and 326 boys). Positively biased perceptions led to increases in relational, but not overt, aggression. This pattern was observed even when the effects of gender, race, peer rejection, and overt aggression on relational aggression were controlled. Contrary to the disputed overestimation hypothesis, the prospective associations between bias and aggression did not vary as a function of children's peer rejection status, thus supporting the view that positive bias predicts future aggressive behavior, regardless of social status. The results are discussed in terms of the comparability with previous findings and practical implications.

  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Funding:
    CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
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