Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Christopher Royer, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

Virginia Salzer, Ph.D.


Relational aggression (RA) represents a distinct form of bullying and refers to behaviors that harm others through damaging their friendships, their inclusion in social groups, and their feelings of acceptance. RA has been recognized as a significant problem, which has psychosocial and academic consequences for perpetrators, victims and bystanders. This study evaluated a self-report inventory that examined RA in 219 females ages 10 through 18 from Central Pennsylvania. Inter-item correlations revealed that none of the scale’s items were highly correlated and therefore repetitive. An Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) with an oblique rotation was used to identify the factors within the Girls Relationship Scale. Two factors were revealed with a “lenient” alpha greater than .70, representing the factors of “Relationships” and “Substance Abuse.” A Pearson Correlational analysis found a significant negative relationship between the Age and the Substance Abuse factor (Pearson Correlation= -.166, p=.001), indicating the fact that older girls were more likely to endorse the willingness to smoke cigarettes or use drugs or alcohol if meant being accepted by other girls. A significant correlation was also found between the Age and the Total Scale score (Pearson Correlation= .495, p=.001), indicating that older girls were more likely to answer questions in a more self-assured and knowledgeable manner, or in the desired direction. An ANOVA revealed significant differences between the roles involved in relational aggression including the “bully”, “victim”, “bystander” or “other”, and the “Relationships” factor (p=.002) and between the roles and the Total Scale score (p=.001). Post hoc tests to examine the significant differences further could not be performed, however, because of missing data caused by subjects not answering every question. Lack of significance was found between places and situations in which girls think that they have more problems with their relationships and their ethnic heritage and the factor and Total scale scores.