The relation between goals and strategies for conflict resolution of children in the 4th through 6th grades were assessed using self-report questionnaires (N = 273). Prosocial strategies were positively correlated with relationship and equality goals, whereas aggressive strategies (physical and relational) were related to self-interest, control, and revenge goals. Relationally aggressive strategies were more strongly associated with the goals of avoiding trouble and maintaining relationships among the peer group than were physically aggressive strategies. Also, boys were more likely to endorse physically aggressive strategies, whereas girls reported greater endorsement of prosocial strategies, but no gender differences were discovered in children's ratings of relationally aggressive strategies. Results are discussed in terms of the relevance of children's social cognitions to the study of physically and relationally aggressive behavior.

Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
Department of Psychology

Delveaux, K.D. (Kendra D.), & Daniels, T. (2000). Children's social cognitions: Physically and relationally aggressive strategies and children's goals in peer conflict situations. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 46(4), 672–692.