Relational aggression among young girls : understanding the impact on victims and their families
Kritzer, Shannon Wendy
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This study examines the impacts upon victims and families of adolescent female relational aggression. Many adolescent girls endure female relational aggression on a daily basis in their school, community, and home settings. Research shows numerous short-term and long-term mental health impacts to the victims. Currently there is little research on the impact of those supporting female adolescents victimized by relational aggression, namely, the victim’s family. From the small amount of research discovered, certain themes emerge. Families feel powerless, become angry, agitated, and anxious, and struggle with the feeling that they failed their child. Some families feel alone and isolated, while others feel such devastation that they resort to relocating their entire family for a fresh start. Furthermore, research also reveals discrepancies in the focus of intervention and prevention programs. The purpose of this project was to discover the impacts of adolescent female aggression on the victims and their families and to narrow down interventions and prevention programs for victims and aggressors of relational aggression. In doing so, this report aims to provide programs to assist school personnel and those involved in mental health professions.