Teacher and parent perceptions of relational and physical aggression during early childhood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Although links have been found between parents’ and teachers’ (caregivers’) attitudes about aggressive behavior, their responses to aggressive behaviour in children, and those children’s own use of aggressive behaviour, most research has focused on primary and secondary school contexts and has examined the influence of parents and teachers separately. The current study explored both parents’ and teachers’ beliefs and intervention strategies for relational and physical aggression in early childhood settings. Teachers (N = 18; Mage = 34.8 years) and parents (N = 68; Mage = 32.2 years) were presented with vignettes portraying relational and physical aggression. Following each vignette, their perceptions of the seriousness of the act, empathy for the victim, likelihood to intervene, and intervention strategies used to respond to each vignette were assessed. Teachers were also interviewed about examples of aggression that have been seen in preschool age children. Results indicated that caregivers viewed relational compared to physical aggression as more normative, and had less empathy for, and were less likely to intervene in instances of relationally aggressive behaviour. They also recommended more passive intervention strategies towards relationally aggressive children and more direct strategies towards physically aggressive children. Interview responses indicated that teachers perceived the primary cause of aggression to be related to developmental characteristics of the child. Implications for how these findings about adult–child interactions impact the development of relational and physical aggression are discussed.

LanguageEnglish
Pages118–130
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Fingerprint

Aggression
aggression
parents
childhood
aggressive behavior
teacher
Parents
intervention strategy
Caregivers
empathy
caregiver
Child Behavior
preschool age
Preschool Children
primary school
Interviews
secondary school
cause
Research
interaction

Keywords

  • relational aggression
  • physical aggression
  • teacher perceptions
  • parent perceptions
  • early childhood

Cite this

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title = "Teacher and parent perceptions of relational and physical aggression during early childhood",
abstract = "Although links have been found between parents’ and teachers’ (caregivers’) attitudes about aggressive behavior, their responses to aggressive behaviour in children, and those children’s own use of aggressive behaviour, most research has focused on primary and secondary school contexts and has examined the influence of parents and teachers separately. The current study explored both parents’ and teachers’ beliefs and intervention strategies for relational and physical aggression in early childhood settings. Teachers (N = 18; Mage = 34.8 years) and parents (N = 68; Mage = 32.2 years) were presented with vignettes portraying relational and physical aggression. Following each vignette, their perceptions of the seriousness of the act, empathy for the victim, likelihood to intervene, and intervention strategies used to respond to each vignette were assessed. Teachers were also interviewed about examples of aggression that have been seen in preschool age children. Results indicated that caregivers viewed relational compared to physical aggression as more normative, and had less empathy for, and were less likely to intervene in instances of relationally aggressive behaviour. They also recommended more passive intervention strategies towards relationally aggressive children and more direct strategies towards physically aggressive children. Interview responses indicated that teachers perceived the primary cause of aggression to be related to developmental characteristics of the child. Implications for how these findings about adult–child interactions impact the development of relational and physical aggression are discussed.",
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Teacher and parent perceptions of relational and physical aggression during early childhood. / Swit, Cara S.; McMaugh, Anne L.; Warburton, Wayne A.

In: Journal of Child and Family Studies, Vol. 27, No. 1, 01.2018, p. 118–130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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