Hailee Buras

Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Eric Dahlen, Ph.D.

Advisor Department



Relational aggression (i.e., harming the victim’s relationships, reputation/status, or feelings of belongingness) is associated with a number of adverse correlates among college students (Dahlen, Czar, Prather, & Dyess, 2013; Ostrov & Houston, 2008). Peer exclusivity (i.e., the desire that one’s close friends do not have other close friends) has been shown to be positively related to relational aggression in peer relationships (Kawabata, Youngblood, & Hamaguchi, 2014); however, this relationship has not been widely explored. Anxiety is also relevant to relational aggression among college students (Cooley, Frazer, Fite, Brown, & DiPierro, 2016; Gros, Gros, & Simms, 2010) and may inform our understanding of the relationship between peer exclusivity and relational aggression. The present study examined the relationships of peer exclusivity and anxiety symptoms to relational aggression in a sample of traditionally aged (i.e., 18-25) college students (N = 260) recruited from the University of Southern Mississippi. Participants completed self-report measures of these variables as part of a larger study. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that peer exclusivity was positively related to relational aggression and that anxiety symptoms moderated this relationship. These findings may help to inform efforts by campus personnel to develop programs for preventing relational aggression and interventions for relationally aggressive students.

Included in

Psychology Commons