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Indirect and Direct Aggression

Edited By Karin Österman

Indirect and Direct Aggression consists of 24 chapters written by distinguished scholars within the field of aggression research, covering indirect aggression, bullying in schools, adult bullying, and societal and biological aspects of aggression. Indirect aggression is the most typical form of aggression used by women in most cultures. It is an aggressive strategy that is carried out by means of social manipulation that enables the perpetrator to go unnoticed and thereby escape retaliation. Knowledge about indirect aggression and its mechanisms is crucial for all anti-bullying efforts, among children and adults alike. Although briefly covered in early research on human aggression, the study of indirect aggression originates, beginning from the mid-1980s, from a research group in Finland, lead by Professor Kaj Björkqvist of Åbo Akademi University. The book can be used as a textbook at university level.


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Part I. Indirect Aggression - 3


__________________________________________________________________________________________ Correspondence should be addressed to John Archer, School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2HE, UK. E-mail: What is Indirect Aggression in Adults? John Archer School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, UK In this chapter, I outline research on indirect aggression in adults, de- rived from the work of Kaj Björkqvist and his colleagues on children and adolescents. Although linked to direct aggression, in that the same types of people tend to commit both forms, indirect aggression is more linked to measures indicating the person is uncomfortable in their so- cial networks, and is not linked with the tendency or ability to con- front people directly. The range of situations in which indirect aggres- sion occurs is typically in a friendship or acquaintance group, but it can also be manifest in dyadic romantic relationships and in contexts where people have not chosen to be together, such as the workplace or prison. The functions of indirect aggression are different in these con- texts but overall its function can be characterised as seeking to dam- age another’s social standing or reputation or to remove them from a social group. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of research on indirect aggres- sion in adults. Most of this research is based in some way on the original work by Kaj Björkqvist and his colleagues on indirect aggression, which concentrated on children and adolescents. The first section describes measures of indirect ag- gression...

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