Factors associated with teacher intervention in relational aggression

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Child and Family Studies


Norma J. Burgess


Teacher intervention, Aggression, Bullying, Middle school teachers

Subject Categories

Education | Family, Life Course, and Society | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology | Teacher Education and Professional Development


Key factors associated with teachers' intervention in relational aggression were identified in this quantitative study with 133 middle school (grades 5-7) teachers. While identification of relationally aggressive behaviors was positively correlated with intervention it was not the strongest influence. The frequency of relational aggression was the most significant predictive factor associated with teacher intervention. Further analysis determined relationships between teacher characteristics and frequency (teachers aged 40-49 years of age and those with bachelor's degrees reported less frequency of RA behaviors which was associated with lower levels of intervention). Teacher characteristics were also associated with identification (grade taught, education level and gender) and intervention (teacher age). Implications for practice are also discussed including teacher motivation and reasoning, increasing skills and communication, school policies and role clarification and support for teacher intervention.

The majority of teachers thought that they could use more training to learn how to handle relational aggression situations in the best way possible for everyone though female teachers thought that training would be more beneficial than male teachers. The information gained in this study can be used to provide relevant and specific training and consultation about relational aggression to support teachers in middle schools, which will increase the likelihood that they will implement what they have learned.


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