It Takes Two: Rethinking the Aggressor-Victim Relationship (page 3)

By — Bullying Special Edition Contributor
Updated on Feb 11, 2009

What this Means

Attention to the aggressor-victim relationship is by no means a replacement for examining and helping individual aggressors and victims. As other scholars in this arena have noted, considering why some children are aggressive while others are victimized is a valuable area of study. Rather, there needs to be a focus on the relationships between aggressors and victims that runs parallel to the examination of the individual children involved in the bullying dynamic. A holistic view of this complex phenomenon will surely assist teachers, parents, and other caregivers in providing children with thoughtful and well-rounded solutions to the complex, painful issues surrounding bullying.


  1. Coie, J. D., Cillessen, A. H. N., Dodge, K. A., Hubbard, J. A., Schwartz, D., Lemerise, E. A., & Bateman, H. (1999). It takes two to fight: A test of relational factors and a method for assessing aggressive dyads. Developmental Psychology, 35, 1179-1188.
  2. Card, N. A., & Hodges, E. V. E. (under review). It takes two to fight in school too: A social relations model of the psychometric properties and relative variance of dyadic aggression and victimization in middle school. Manuscript under review.
  3. Hubbard, J. A., Dodge, K. A., Cillessen, A. H. N., Coie, J. D., & Schwartz, D. (2001). The dyadic nature of social information processing in boys’ reactive and proactive aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 268-280.
  4. Card, N. A., & Hodges, E. V. E. (2005, April). Power differential in aggressor-victim relationships. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, GA.
  5. Card, N. A., & Hodges, E. V. E. (2007). Victimization within mutually antipathetic peer relationships. Social Development, 16, 479-496.
  6. Card, N. A., & Hodges, E. V. E. (2006). Shared targets for aggression by early adolescent friends. Developmental Psychology, 42, 1327-1338.
  7. Card, N. A., Isaacs, J., & Hodges, E. V. E. (in press). Aggression and victimization in children’s peer groups: A relationship perspective. In A. L. Vangelisti (Ed.), Feeling hurt in close relationships. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Acknowledgments: The research by the author described here was conducted in collaboration with Ernest V. E. Hodges (St. John’s University). I thank Ernest for commenting on a previous version of this article.

Biographical Statement: Noel Card is an Assistant Professor in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on child and adolescent peer relations in general, and on aggression, victimization, friendship, and antipathetic relationships in particular. His research has been published in both developmental and quantitative psychology journals, as well as several edited books. He is currently on the editorial boards of Child Development, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Correspondence regarding this article should be addressed to Noel Card (, Family Studies and Human Development, 1110 E. South Campus Drive, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0033.

View Full Article
Add your own comment
DIY Worksheets
Make puzzles and printables that are educational, personal, and fun!
Matching Lists
Quickly create fun match-up worksheets using your own words.
Word Searches
Use your own word lists to create and print custom word searches.
Crossword Puzzles
Make custom crossword puzzles using your own words and clues.