Preschool children’s beliefs about the acceptability of relational and physical aggression

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This research examined differences in beliefs about the acceptability of aggression and behavioral responses to aggression of preschool-aged children. Two groups, identified from teacher ratings, participated in the research. One group of children exhibited relationally aggressive behaviors, and a comparison group was identified with non-aggressive behaviors. Children’s social skills were assessed through observations. Beliefs about the acceptability of aggression and behavioral responses to aggression were assessed using four vignettes presented with toy figures. Children were encouraged to use the figurines to verbalize or enact responses. Children’s responses were analyzed and could be categorized as problem-solving or aggressive responses. There were no significant differences between groups on beliefs about the acceptability of aggression. However, younger children held more accepting beliefs about aggression. The methodological technique identified that relationally aggressive children used more problem-solving and conflict resolution strategies compared to children in the comparison group. These findings have important implications for educators in recognizing that not all forms of aggression are associated with fewer prosocial problem-solving skills. Methodological techniques employed in this study are recommended for use in the delivery of intervention programs aimed at reducing aggressive behaviors of preschool children.

LanguageEnglish
Pages111-127
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Early Childhood
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2016

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Preschool Children
preschool child
Aggression
aggression
aggressive behavior
Group
Play and Playthings
Negotiating
teacher rating
toy
Research
conflict resolution
educator

Cite this

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title = "Preschool children’s beliefs about the acceptability of relational and physical aggression",
abstract = "This research examined differences in beliefs about the acceptability of aggression and behavioral responses to aggression of preschool-aged children. Two groups, identified from teacher ratings, participated in the research. One group of children exhibited relationally aggressive behaviors, and a comparison group was identified with non-aggressive behaviors. Children’s social skills were assessed through observations. Beliefs about the acceptability of aggression and behavioral responses to aggression were assessed using four vignettes presented with toy figures. Children were encouraged to use the figurines to verbalize or enact responses. Children’s responses were analyzed and could be categorized as problem-solving or aggressive responses. There were no significant differences between groups on beliefs about the acceptability of aggression. However, younger children held more accepting beliefs about aggression. The methodological technique identified that relationally aggressive children used more problem-solving and conflict resolution strategies compared to children in the comparison group. These findings have important implications for educators in recognizing that not all forms of aggression are associated with fewer prosocial problem-solving skills. Methodological techniques employed in this study are recommended for use in the delivery of intervention programs aimed at reducing aggressive behaviors of preschool children.",
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Preschool children’s beliefs about the acceptability of relational and physical aggression. / Swit, Cara S.; McMaugh, Anne; Warburton, Wayne A.

In: International Journal of Early Childhood, Vol. 48, No. 1, 29.02.2016, p. 111-127.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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