Current Directions in the Psychological Sciences
Although many past studies of peer maltreatment have focused on physical victimization, the importance of an empirical focus on relational victimization has only recently been recognized. In relational victimization, the perpetrator attempts to harm the target through the manipulation of relationships, threat of damage to them, or both. We review what is currently known about relational victimization with three issues in mind: (a) developmental changes in the manifestation of relational victimization, (b) gender differences in the likelihood of being victimized, and (c) evidence that relational victimization is harmful.
Crick, Nikki R.; Casas, Juan F.; and Nelson, David A., "Toward a More Comprehensive Understanding of Peer Maltreatment: Studies of Relational Victimization" (2002). Psychology Faculty Publications. 89.