This study examined the construct validity of nonverbal social aggression and the relation of nonverbal social aggression to dimensions of children's social status. Peer nominations of verbal social, nonverbal social, direct verbal, and physical aggression, as well as social dominance, perceived popularity, and social acceptance, were collected from 459 elementary students. Structural equation modeling with physical and direct verbal aggression items and verbal and nonverbal social aggression items yielded three factors of aggression: overt, nonverbal social, and verbal social. Subsequent analyses indicated that girls are more nonverbally socially aggressive than boys. Nonverbal social aggression was found to explain unique variance in social acceptance for boys and to offer equal contributions to girls' social dominance and perceived popularity, controlling for overt and verbal social aggression. Suggestions for future research are discussed.


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pp. 293-318
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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