Uploaded by Shaina McMillan


Shaina McMillan
Essay Question 1
Relational aggression is a type of social aggression that focuses on manipulating or
damaging relationships to hurt another person. Two stages of Kohlberg’s theory of Moral
Development, Stage 1 and Stage 3, would have objections to committing relational aggression.
In Stage 1, a child only obeys to avoid being punished and because the child believes
authority figures are always right. Children in this stage do not have their own moral code and
rely on the standards and consequences of breaking the rules. A child in this stage would object
to committing relational aggression because an adult has told them that excluding other children,
making fun of others, or bullying others is a bad thing to do and will be punished. The child
would object to committing relational aggression because they do not wish to be punished.
In Stage 3, a teenager believes that shared feelings and needs are most important. They
believe that being helpful, generous, nice, and good are important to embody. Their actions
reflect a desire to obtain the approval of others and they go out of their way to avoid disapproval
from their peers. Teenagers would object to relational aggression if they feel that their peers will
disapprove of their behavior. They believe that if they bully others, spread rumors, or exclude
others, then their peers will see them as mean, ‘not cool’, or will commit the same actions back
at them, leading to the disapproval and isolation from their peers.
In Stage 1, the child will not commit relational aggression because an adult has forbidden
it and the child does not want to be punished. The child does not make their own decision about
whether the action is good or bad, only that an adult sees it as bad. In Stage 3, the teenager does
not commit relational aggression because they fear the disapproval of their peers. While both
Stages object due to how they believe another party will react, the child is objecting just to avoid
punishment while the teenager is objecting to sustain their relationships and obtain the approval
of their peers, emphasizing the opinions of their peers over their own or authority figures.