Child Development 138 (03) - Hembree
Social and Emotional Development
California State University, Sacramento
Spring, 2011 


Aggression and Conflict

I.   Introduction

A. Define Aggression



B. Aggression versus conflict



II.  Theories of Aggression

Group discussion - A comparison of theories complete theory chart in class



III. Research on Aggression

A. Stability of Aggression


B. Developmental trends in aggression/conflict

1) Retaliation in response to attack increases after age three


2) Causes of aggression change with age



3)  Form of aggression changes 

  • Instrumental aggression



  • Hostile aggression



4) Reasons for general decline

a) decreased tolerance



b)   Dominance hierarchies



c)    improved social-cognitive and social problem-solving skills



d)    improved conflict negotiation

  • constructive versus destructive conflict




  • implications of constructive conflict for development  



5) Changes in Adolescence 



C. Gender differences

1. reasons for differences?



2. Relational aggression




D. Aggression and peer relationships

1. Bullying




2. Peer rejection





IV. Influences on Aggression

A. Biological Influences






B. Family/Cultural Influences

1. Parenting practices




2.  Family climate - Patterson






3. Sibling interaction - Berndt




C. Cultural Influences on Aggression (Discussion)







V. Controlling Aggression










Back to top


Send problems, comments or suggestions to:

California State University, Sacramento
College of Education
Department of Child Development

Updated: January, 2011

Back to top