Developmental Review: Perspectives in Behavior and Cognition vol:28 issue:4 pages:522-540
The major aim of this review is to propose new ways of thinking about the role of parents in the development and course of children’s relationally aggressive behavior. An important theoretical framework from which to start thinking about linkages between parenting and relational aggression is provided by attachment theory. Attachment theory proposes that early family experiences are an important basis for the development of later peer relationships. Recent studies are only beginning to suggest possible linkages between children’s parental attachment and relational aggression. One possible reason for the scant research is that theoreticians studying these constructs have not yet developed a conceptual framework combining the two, but rather have focused on different characteristics of different interpersonal contexts. Based on the premise that both relational aggression and attachment are relational constructs and given the already established correlations between insecure attachment and physical aggression, this paper
will attempt to devise a heuristic model that may serve as an aid to discover links between parent–child interactions, attachment, and relational aggression. Finally, implications for future studies of relational aggression are discussed.