Elizabeth Benckert

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology-Professional School Psychology




College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Dihoff, Roberta


Bullying in schools; Sex differences


Child Psychology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


Research shows that girls show more indirect and relational aggression bullying behavior, while boys will show more direct and physically aggressive bullying behavior (Bjorkqvist, Lagerspetz, & Kaukiainen, 1992). Girls prefer indirect aggression because they can manipulate others; while boys prefer direct aggression against others because it shows dominance and strength (Crick, Casas, & Mosher, 1997). The study was done to show a difference in gender and the style of aggressive bullying behavior they will act out in. Crick et al. (1997) explain that children tend to bully in ways that they know will inflict harm on others and damage their social environment. Discipline records from the 2010-2011 school year from two Middle Schools were collected and analyzed. There were 160 student records analyzed, (102 boys and 58 girls), some with multiple incidents of aggressive bullying behavior. The style of aggression, direct or indirect, was recorded as well as their gender and which school they were enrolled in. The present study found that there is no gender difference in the preferred aggressive style of bullying. However, there was significance between the type of school and style of bullying the student was involved in. Statistics show that indirect aggressive behavior incidents and type of school, F(1,114)=39.641=.000; statistics show that direct aggressive behavior incidents and type of school, F(1,143)=27.569=.000.