Prevalence of Relational Aggression

Bullying in schools happens in all three forms and at various ages, although peer bullying has the highest prevalence in 6th-8th grades The most common forms of bullying are verbal with relational, or various forms of ostracism, coming in second.

Gender differences
Although it can be used by both genders, relational aggression is more commonly associated with girls. This has partially been supported by research. In fact, findings of a study by Rivers and Smith shown that while verbal aggression occurs with similar frequency in both sexes, direct physical aggression is more common among boys and indirect aggression is more common among girls. In another study by Baldry it was found that boys are more likely to engage in bullying behaviors such as threats, physical harm, rejection, and name-calling, and girls are most likely to use name-calling, teasing, rumors, rejection, and taking personal belongings. Based on these findings, girls, in fact, do seem to use relational aggression more. In addition, recent international research shows that both genders tend to use relational aggression, but girls are more aware and distressed by it. For example, a study by Horn found that girls are more likely to say that it is morally wrong to exclude someone based on their crowd membership. However, this tendency for girls to engage in relational aggression more so than for boys do might be explained by different socialization of the male and female children and different social expectations associated with gender roles. Unlike girls, boys have more choice in the forms of aggression they can use to achieve their social goals because it is more socially acceptable for boys to openly use physical or verbal aggression. In addition, there are certain implications when boys and girls engage in gender- atypical aggression as girls who are more physically aggressive or boys who are highly relationally aggressive are more maladjusted than their peers, who engage in gender- typical aggression.