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Relational Aggression and the DSM-V: What Can Clinicians Tell Us about Female Juvenile Offenders?

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Dated: January-February 2012 Pages: 33-47
Asha Goldweber, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Cauffman, Ph.D.
Date Published
February 2012
15 pages
This article examines the state of research on relational aggression and the DSM-V.
Including relational aggression as part of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorder (CD) has been a focus of the DSM-V. Whether clinicians can reliably assess such behavior is unclear. The present study tested correspondence between self- and clinician-reported reactive and proactive overt aggression (required) and reactive and proactive relational aggression (under consideration). Results indicated that clinicians were able to detect all subtypes of girls' aggressionincluding retaliatory yet covert reactive relational aggression. The present research contributes to the relational aggression in the DSM-V debate by: distinguishing between relational aggression subtypes, including self- and clinician-reported aggression in a population of adolescent female offenders, and providing information about the validity of clinician reports. (Published Abstract)