Sequential analysis

Another “approach” to describing the stream of behaviour in children's interactions

John P. Murray*, Alan J. Hayes, Jacqui E. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


A modification of the Caldwell (1969) APPROACH coding scheme was used to sequentially analyse the influence of peer models in group interactions. Twenty preschool children ranging in age from 4·0 to 4·5 years were equally assigned to four mixed‐sex groups. Following exposure to active and arousing televised material, videotaped records of 10 minutes free play were obtained unobtrusively. For two of the groups a female adult was present for the first half of the play period, while for the others the adult entered after 5 minutes had elapsed. Analysis of the coded records revealed intergroup and individual differences in the frequency of aggressive, prosocial and neutral behaviours, with aggression the most frequently occurring class of behaviour. The level of aggressive interaction increased in the second half of the play period, and while die boys' aggressive behaviour appeared independent of the presence or absence of the adult the girls were significantly more aggressive when the adult was absent. Simultaneous and time‐lagged correlation analyses explicated the sequential influence of each individual upon the group, and four styles of interaction were identified: actors, leaders, followers and individualists. It is proposed that actors and leaders are most likely to exert a prime modelling influence upon the observing followers, with the individualist being the least susceptible to social learning effects in the peer group. 1978 Australian Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1978

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