Canadian Children's Rights Council - Conseil canadien des droits des enfants

Canadian Children's Rights Council - Conseil canadien des droits des enfants

Child Rights - Virtual Library, Resource Centre, Archives and Advocacy
Parental Alienation

Parents who brainwash and poison their child's mind in family law disputes.

Family Law Reform

A child's right to be parented by both parents.
Equal Parenting

Child Identity Rights

Paternity Fraud
Egg / Sperm Donors
Human Identity

Corporal Punishment

Repeal section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada which allows assaulting children.

Silenced Citizens

The report of the Senate Committee on child rights implementation.

Female Sex Offenders

Our most visited webpage. Female sexual predator awareness.

parent holding child up in air
Study - Female Aggression

What about girls? Are they really not aggressive?

Nina S. Mounts, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Human Development and Family Life Bulletin
A Review of Research and Practice
Volume 3, Issue 2, Summer 1997

Many of the books or papers on aggression in children focus primarily on boys. Most people assume that boys are more aggressive than girls, which leads to problems for boys, but not for girls, in their peer relationships. In fact, many of the research studies that examine aggressive children only include boys.


In her recent work, Dr. Nikki Crick of the University of Minnesota has challenged the assumption that girls are not aggressive (Crick, 1996; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995; Grotpeter & Crick, 1996). Dr. Crick argues that girls have not been found to be aggressive in previous studies because researchers have been looking at the wrong kind of aggression.

Most of the previous research, as well as interventions with aggressive, peer-rejected children, define aggression as either physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt another person. Crick believes that girls, in general, do not engage in this type of aggression against their peers. They do, however, employ relational aggression. Relational aggression is behavior specifically intended to hurt another child's friendships or feelings of inclusion in a peer group. An example of relational aggression would be a child spreading hurtful rumors about another child so that other children are less inclined to be friendly toward her. Or, a child might retaliate against another child by not including her in the play group. Relational aggression, then, is deliberate manipulation on the part of a child to damage another child's peer relationships.

Crick's work with elementary school children has demonstrated that the degree of aggressiveness exhibited by girls has been underestimated, mainly because it is difficult to measure. Clearly, when one child hits another, that child is behaving in an overtly aggressive way. In contrast, how do you tell when one child has started a rumor about another?

Because adults are not always privy to the comings and goings of children's peer groups, they may be unaware of any relational aggression. Although Crick detected overlap in teachers and children's reports of relational aggression in the classrooms where she conducted her research, she did not detect complete overlap. In other words, relational aggression occurred without the knowledge of the teacher.


Using measures completed both by teachers and children, Crick found that girls engaged in higher levels of relational aggression than boys. Girls who engaged in relational aggression exhibited a number of adjustment difficulties, and had self-reported higher levels of depression, loneliness, and social isolation than their peers. In addition, peers disliked relationally aggressive girls more than other girls.

Girls who engaged in relational aggression early in the school year were more likely to be rejected by their peers later in the school year than girls who did not engage in relational aggression early on. Not surprisingly, children who demonstrated relational aggression at one time point were likely to continue using it throughout the school year.

Because research finds relational aggression to be a relatively stable behavior in children, Crick's research has implications for practitioners who conduct interventions with peer-rejected children. Clearly, children who engage in relational aggression are candidates for peer relationship intervention programs to prevent future peer rejection.


Previous research on children's peer relationships has shown that having at least one friend buffers a child from some of the negative effects of peer rejection. Because relational aggression involves manipulating friendships, Crick and Grotpeter (1995) were interested in examining the friendships of relationally aggressive children. Friendships of relationally aggressive children did not differ from those of nonaggressive children on measures of caring, companionship, and helping one another. Relationally aggressive children's friendships did differ from nonrelationally aggressive children in several ways, however. First, relationally aggressive children and their best friends reported higher levels of intimacy in their friendships than did other children. This high level of intimacy probably puts the nonaggressive friend at risk because the relationally aggressive child has ready access to important, private information about the other child. A relationally aggressive child could easily use threats to disclose the information to manipulate her friend. Second, a high level of exclusivity exists in the friendship with the relationally aggressive child. Again, this may put the other friend at risk to be manipulated because she may have limited friends to turn to as alternatives. A final feature of these friendships is their high degree of internal relational aggression. Relationally aggressive children direct many of their aggressive behaviors toward their friends. These findings are dramatically different from those of overtly aggressive children and their friends. Overtly aggressive children tend to behave aggressively toward those external to the friendship rather than toward each other. The aggressive behavior is directed outside the dyad.

This line of research clearly will be of interest to practitioners as it develops. Although no interventions have been developed to date using this information, practitioners should develop prevention interventions with relationally aggressive children.


Crick, N. R., & Grotpeter, J.K. (1995). Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment. Child Development, 66, 710-722.

Crick, N. R. (1996). The role of overt aggression, relational aggression, and prosocial behavior in the prediction of children's future social adjustment. Child Development, 67, 2317-2327.


Family Law - federal and provincial / terr. Family Responsibility Office - Ontario Telephone Numbers New Child Support Guidelines Canada - 31DEC2011 Canadian Family Law History Special Joint Committee on Custody and Access 1998 Fatherless Canada Child Relationship Support Child Financial Support Collaboratice Law and and Social Workers Children's Rights in Family Law
U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (1989) UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - 1st Optional Protocol - Children Armed Conflict - Canada's Reports UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - 2nd Optional Protocol - Sale of Children, Child Prostitution & Child Pornography - Canada's Reports UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - 3rd Optional Protocol - Complains Mechanism Canada's 3rd Report to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child - Due 2009 Canada's Report Involvement Children Armed Conflicts to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child - May 2006 - 42nd Session Canada's 2nd Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child 2003 - 34th session Canada's 1st Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child 1995 - 9th Session Government of Canada's
Plan of Action - 2004
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - Application in Canadian Courts U.N. Study-Violence Against Children Canada's National Child Day - Gov't Obligations to Educate the Public Fetal Rights and the UNCRC Scholarly Submission
Senate Committee - Child Rights Implementation Senate Hearings on the Implementation of Child Rights in Canada Interim and Final Reports of the Senate on Child Rights Senate Hearings on the Implementation of Child Rights in Canada Senate Hearings on the Implementation of Child Rights in Canada Senate Hearings on the Implementation of Child Rights in Canada
Women & Men Reproductive Choice About Pro-Choice
Parental Alienation Syndrome Parental Alienation Overview TV Shows About Parental Alienation Newspaper Articles about Parental Alienation Parental Alienation - Canadian Court Rulings Parental Alienation Court Rulings - US and other countries Parental Alienation Studies and Research Parental Alienation Awareness Day - April 25 Books About Parental Alienation Parental Alienation - Documenting The Evidence Parental Alienation - Using a Parenting Coordinator About Parental Alienation Parental Alienation - What Canadian Health Professionals Are Doing About It. Parental Alienation Dos and Don'ts Certain Feminist Organizations Deny Parental Alienation Exists
Infanticide / murdering children Murder / Homicide of Children / Youths - Statistics Canada Mothers who kill their children Infanticide - Criminal Code of Canada Offence UN and Canadian Children's Rights Council position
Newborn Baby Abandonment Laws Child Abandonment Laws
Scholarly Submissions University &College About Submissions Read Submissions
Child Identity Rights and Paternity Fraud Child Identity Rights In Canada Child Identity Rights - Frequently Asked questions (FAQs) Baby Naming Case - Supreme Court of Canada Paternity Fraud CBC Sunday - TV Show on Paternity Fraud in Canada Infidelity NON-Invasive Prenatal DNA Paternity Testing Paternity testing Paternity Blood Type Chart - disprove paternity Two Opposing Judgements on Paterntiy Fraud from Ontario Courts Mandatory paternity testing - Position Statement by the Canadian Children's Rights Council Liam Magill - High Court of Australia Paternity Fraud case Paternity Fraud- Criminal Code of Canada Finding your birth parents
Children & Sex - Age of Consent Age of Consent for Sex in Canada Children having children - Teen Pregnancies
Child / Youth  Criminal Justice System Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) (2003) Read the Act YCJA - History of the Bill, Briefs, testimony, Parilamentary Transcripts YCJA - Background Information- Canada's Department of Justice Youth Criminal Justice Youth Crime in Canada Youth Jails in Canada Supreme Court of Canada - Youths Charged as Adults - May 16, 2008
Canadian Children Living in Poverty Child Poverty In Canada Homeless Children in Canada Aboriginal Child Poverty
Adoption and Human Identity - Birth Parents Adoption News Birth fathers ignored Adoption Laws Finding your birth parents New Brunswick's Adoption Success
Corporal Punishment Hitting and Spanking Assaulting children to discipline them - Corporal Parenting Experts about Corporal Punishment Most Developed Countries Don't Allow Corporal Punishment of Children International SpankOut Day April 30th Canada-Wide Campaign to End Corporal Punishment fof Children
Circumcision - Genital Mutilation - Male & Female Circumcision / Genital Mutilation TV Show - Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl / Beth-Tzedec Position Statements - Medical Associations on Male Circumcision Circumcision - Research Penis Foreskin Important Sensory Mechanism Circumcision and Rights of the Child
Child Abuse and Child Protective Services Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children - Systemic Racism - Sexual Abuse - Child Abuse - 1921-1989 Child Abuse / Neglect Overview Canada Statistics Parent Abuse committed by Youths Child Hate Crimes Shaken Baby Syndrome The Invisible Boy: Revisioning the Victimization of Male Children and Teens 1996 - Health Canada Female Sex Offenders / Female Sexual Predator Awareness Karla Homolka - Child Killer and Sexual Predator Parental Alienation Butterbox Babies Canada's Aboriginal Residency School
Bullying In Schools in Canada Bullying - Info for Parents Bullying Study Shows Canada has Too Much Bullying Bullying in Ontario Schools / The Safe School Act 2009 Bullying in Ontario Schools / Parent Lawsuits Against Schools Bullying by Girls in Schools - Female Aggression
International Child abduction - Hague Conv. Hague Convention on The Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction - Order or Chaos 400 Canadian Children Abducted Yearly Canadian Parliament Report on International Child Abduction Royal Canadian Mounted Police Statistics on Child Abductions Hague Convention Child Abduction Central Authorities in Canada MP Larry Miller Lobbied Judge Hearing Child Abduction Case
Education About Child Rights Educators Teaching democracy
UN - Rights of Persons with Disabilities - 2006 About the UN Convention for the Rights of Disabled Persons Read the UN Convention for the Rights of Disabled Persons
Special Days of the Year - Mark your Calendar April 25 - Parental Alienation Awareness Day April 30th - International SpankOut Day June 21st - Canada' s National Aboriginal Day August 12th UN International Youth Day November 20th - Canada' s National "Child Day" - Gov't Obligations to Educate the Public December 3rd - International Day of Disabled Persons December 10th - Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Child Care and Early Childhood Education Early childhood education and care Corporate Early Childhood Education and Care Newspapers Articles, Papers and Studies on Early Childhood
Universal Education of School Age Children Ontario, Canada discriminates by publicly funding certain religious schools Grade school University / College
Universal Child Health Care Services Child Health Care
Misc. Topics Relating to Child Rights Child and Youth Suicide Statistics for Canada Anorexia Nervosa ADHD-Ritalin - Canada Children Smoking - Lung Cancer, Children, Youth and Teens in Canada