University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Dean’s Lecture Series

Associate Professor Dianna Murray-Close presented:

“Beyond Mean Girls: Understanding the Development of Relational Aggression”

Abstract: Psychologists have long argued that girls rarely exhibit aggressive behaviors. But a growing body of research indicates that girls and women are often aggressive in ways that had been overlooked. Specifically, girls tend to engage in relational aggression—including gossip, social exclusion, and rumor-spreading—rather than physical aggression. Professor Murray-Close discusses the current understanding of the development of relational aggression, including the risk factors and developmental outcomes associated with these behaviors.