The unique and interactive effects of parenting processes and child characteristics on the development of relational and physical aggression in early elementary school-aged boys and girls
The present study investigated convergent and divergent parenting antecedents and the unique and interactive effects of child verbal ability and impulsivity--‐inattention on the growth of relational and physical aggression. In an effort to eliminate sources of discrepant findings in the current relational aggression research, the present study employed the use of multiple methods of assessment, and simultaneously measured relational and physical aggression during the kindergarten school year, which represents a key point in development. Results suggest that child gender, verbal ability, and inattention--‐impulsivity all moderated the association of parenting with growth in aggression. Child characteristics moderated the relationship between parenting and aggression in a rather complex manner, and did so somewhat differently depending on the topography of the aggressive behavior. The findings of this study suggest that parenting interventions with both parent and child components may be more effective at reducing rates of child aggression than interventions focused on one of these components alone. While not assessed in this study, growth in relational aggression also appears to be influenced by the peer environment in addition to parent and child factors.