Article

“I Got Some Swords and You're Dead!”: Violent Fantasy, Antisocial Behavior, Friendship, and Moral Sensibility in Young Children

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Abstract

Relations between an early interest in violent fantasy and children's social understanding, antisocial and emotional behavior, and interactions with friends were investigated in 40 “hard-to-manage” preschoolers and 40 control children matched for gender, age, and school and ethnic background. Children were filmed alone in a room with a friend, and tested on a battery of cognitive tests, including false-belief, executive function, and emotion understanding tasks. Teachers reported on their friendship quality. At age 6 years, the children's understanding of the emotional consequences of antisocial and prosocial actions was studied. The hard-to-manage group showed higher rates of violent fantasy; across both groups combined, violent fantasy was related to poor executive control and language ability, frequent antisocial behavior, displays of anger and refusal to help a friend, poor communication and coordination of play, more conflict with a friend, and less empathic moral sensibility 2 years later. The usefulness of a focus on the content of children's pretend play — in particular, violent fantasy — as a window on children's preoccupations is considered.

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... • Specific characteristics of social interactions coded (e.g., peer compliance, communication, flexibility, size of group, duration) (Connolly et al., 1988;Howes et al., 1989) • Noted whether or not play was social (de Lorimier et al., 1995;Doyle et al., 1991;Dunn & Cutting, 1999;Dunn & Hughes, 2001) • Complexity of social interaction (e.g., parallel, simple social, complementary/reciprocal) (Doyle, Doehring, Tessier, de Lorimier, & Shapiro, 1992;Lindsey & Colwell, 2003;McLoyd, 1983) • Measured cooperation (Rowe et al., 2018) • Howes (1980Howes ( , 1988 Peer Play Scale (Farver & Shin, 1997) Naturalistic observation ...
... Observations in laboratory, set-up playroom, or non-natural environment and/or with a specific set of toys • Specific codes for role enactment (e.g., frequency, yes/no, duration) (Doyle et al., 1991;Hughes & Dunn, 1997;Jurkovic, 1978;McLoyd, 1983;Melzer & Palermo, 2016;Nielsen & Dissanayake, 2000;Rowe et al., 2018) • Role play as an indicator of cooperative pretend play (Dunn & Cutting, 1999;Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Howe et al., 2002) • Matthews (1977) material to ideational fantasy scale (Cole & LaVoie, 1985) • The Preschool Theatre Arts Rubric (Susman-Stillman et al., ...
... Discussions about the rules of the pretend play, negotiation of roles Example: Determining at which time of day the scenario will occur, discussion about specific details of how to play a role Observations in laboratory, set-up playroom, or non-natural environment and/or with a specific set of toys • Pretend included when child was discussing pretend (Dunn & Hughes, 2001) • High (initiation, proposals, role assignments) vs. low (prop arrangement, procedures) level negotiation (Howe et al., 2002) • Specific codes for discussion of pretend or joint proposals (Black, 1989;Hughes & Dunn, 1997;Jenkins & Astington, 2000;Nielsen & Dissanayake, 2000;Slot et al., 2017) • Strategies for joining social pretend play coded (Howes, 1985) Naturalistic observation ...
Article
Pretend play is a central component of child development, but causal inferences about its effects are difficult to make due to inconsistencies in definitions and measurement. A thorough analysis of how pretense is measured, coherences and disagreements in measurement strategies, and the behaviors involved in pretend play is needed. We review 199 empirical articles where pretend play was measured and propose a new hierarchical developmental progression of pretend play, rooted in developmental theory and 50 years of research. We suggest pretend play behaviors are likely to develop additively from least to most psychologically complex in the following order: object substitutions, attribution of pretend properties, social interactions within pretend, role enactment, and pretense-related metacommunication. Researchers must use methods in future studies to better capture this developmental progression. This will strengthen construct validity and improve understanding of the mechanisms within pretend play possibly responsible for positive child outcomes.
... At Time 2, boys (but not girls) who had engaged in more sociodramatic play at Time 1 were found to express more positive emotion. Dunn and Hughes (2001) found that 4-year-olds who displayed more negative emotions than a control group with typical emotional regulation, enacted a higher proportion of violent pretend play, and a lower proportion of magic pretend play. Youngblade and Dunn (1995) observed fifty 33-month-old children at home with their siblings and mothers. ...
... The play videos were transcribed and analyzed using the software ELAN Version 5.1 (ELAN, 2017). Based on previous research (e.g., Fein, 1989;Dunn and Hughes, 2001;Russ, 2004) and the analysis of 10 randomly selected videos, a coding scheme was developed to analyze the videos in two steps (Rao, 2019). ...
... Although the overall incidence of pretend emotional themes was low, the current study found that boys were more likely to pretend with aggressive and non-aggressive negative themes. This is consistent with evidence from Western contexts and in early childhood (Dunn and Hughes, 2001;Russ, 2004;Marcelo and Yates, 2014). Such gender discrepancies may be due to a combination of biological, socialization, and contextual factors (Chaplin, 2015). ...
Article
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Background: Understanding how pretend play is related to positive emotions is important for supporting children's development and promoting their wellbeing. However, previous studies have mainly examined this association at individual levels and overlooked the potential links at interpersonal levels. This is an important knowledge gap because pretend play is commonly performed in social contexts. The current study investigates how peer pretend play is associated with children's display of positive emotions at both individual and dyadic levels. Methods: One hundred and eight Chinese children ( M age = 8.95 years, SD = 0.99, 51.9% girls) were observed playing in peer dyads with toys. An interaction of 10 min was coded for each child's pretend play behavior, social and emotional pretend play themes, and display of positive emotions. Multilevel modeling was used to examine age and gender differences in peer pretend play. Actor–Partner Interdependence Models (APIM) were estimated to test the hypothesized associations between dyadic pretend play and children' display of positive emotions. Results: Compared to children whose playmates engaged in less pretend play, children whose playmates engaged in more pretend play were more likely to display positive emotions ( p = 0.021). Additionally, children's display of positive emotions was predicted by both their own ( p = 0.027) and their playmate's ( p = 0.01) pretend play with emotional themes. Compared to younger children, older children were less likely to engage in pretend play ( p = 0.002), but more likely to engage in pretend play with social themes ( p = 0.03) when the total frequency of pretend play was controlled for. Boys were 4.9 times and 2.16 times as likely as girls to create aggressive pretend themes ( p < 0.001) and non-aggressive negative pretend themes ( p = 0.007), respectively. No significant gender differences were found in positive pretend themes. Conclusions: Pretending with peers may increase not only children's own, but also their play partner's display of positive emotions. Pretend play may not simply decline in middle childhood as previously assumed.
... While some studies have found associations between pretend play with aggressive (or emotionally negative) themes and children's anger expression and antisocial behaviour in real-life situations (e.g., Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Emde, 2003;Huesmann, 1988;von Klitzing, Kelsay, Emde, Robinson, & Schmitz, 2000), other studies have found the opposite (i.e., that more pretend play with aggressive/negative themes is associated with fewer expressions of anger in real-life situations (e.g., Fehr & Russ, 2013;Feshbach, 1984). A common approach in studies investigating links between aggressive themes in pretend play and expression of anger is that the associations are considered for individual children. ...
... Also, in line with a hypothesized positive association between children's pretend play with aggressive/negative themes and their expression of anger, two studies using the MacArthur Story-Stem battery with children in the United States found that 5-year-olds who were observed to enact greater aggressive/destructive pretend themes (e.g., enacting physical aggression or injury) and/or atypical negative responses (e.g., house catches on fire) were more likely to be rated by both parents and teachers as having externalizing behaviour problems, a common feature of which is an inability to manage expressions of anger (von Klitzing et al., 2000;Warren et al., 1996). Similarly, Dunn and Hughes (2001) observed spontaneous pretend play in 80 four-year-old friends in the United Kingdom and found that children who engaged in greater pretend play with violent themes exhibited more anger, antisocial behaviour, and unhelpful responses to playmates. Although supporting a positive association between pretend play with aggressive/negative themes, these studies have used European and American samples only, raising questions over whether such associations are likely to hold across countries and cultures. ...
... Given that gender differences in pretend play with aggressive/negative themes have been reported in previous studies (Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Zahn-Waxler et al., 2008), gender was used as a control variable. To account for the overall engagement of pretend play, the total frequencies of a child's and his/her partner's pretend play observed in 10minute duration were controlled. ...
Article
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This study investigates the association between children's peer-reported expression of anger and their pretend play with aggressive/negative themes observed during spontaneous play with classmates. Participants comprised 104 Chinese children (Mage = 8.98 years, SD = 0.97, 49% girls) and were filmed playing in peer dyads with toys. Aggressive and non-aggressive negative pretend themes were coded at five-second intervals for 10 minutes. Children's expression of anger in real situations was reported by peers. Analysis using actor-partner interdependence modelling (APIM) revealed significant partner effects, indicating that children were more likely to engage in pretend play with aggressive themes when they were playing with a partner who was perceived by their peers as more easily angered. It was also found that boys were more likely to engage in pretend play with both aggressive and non-aggressive negative themes compared with girls.
... For example, Sachs (1980) coded play negotiation and enactment along a 5-point scale with behaviors indicative of negotiation and enactment on opposite ends. In other studies, observations of enactment and negotiations about pretense have been coded as one or combined for analysis (e.g., Doyle et al., 1992;Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Lindsey & Colwell, 2013). Supporting this approach, Doyle and Connolly (1989) found that play negotiation and play enactment in preschoolers were positively correlated, leading the researchers to conclude that separating the two constructs may be ecologically ...
... While boys and girls tend to play in ways that reflect stereotypical masculine and feminine roles and themes (e.g., Rubin, Fein, & Vandenberg, 1983), findings are equivocal when it comes to examining differences between boys and girls with respect to the structural components of play. For example, numerous studies have failed to find a difference in the amount of pretend play enactment between boys and girls (Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Farver, Kim, & Lee-Shin, 2000;Farver & Shin, 1997;Li, Hestenes, & Wang, 2016) or negotiation (Astington & Jenkins, 1995), while others have found that boys (e.g., Rubin, Maioni, & Hornung, 1976) or girls (e.g., Maguire & Dunn, 1997) are more likely to engage in pretend play, and girls are more likely to negotiate about their play compared to boys (McLoyd, Ewart, & Warren, 1984). Another study found that girls make significantly more conversational utterances (and therefore potentially engage in greater negotiation) during play compared to boys (Werebe & Baudonniere, 1988). ...
... We chose to focus on behaviors that; (a) were theoretically likely in a pretend play scenario, and (b) had been coded previously in the literature. Nonetheless, there are a number of other features of children's social pretend play that were not coded, including children's amity behaviors (e.g., Dunn & Hughes, 2001) and non-verbal aspects such as gesture and affect (e.g., Russ, Robins, & Christiano, 1999). Furthermore, while the structural features of children's play were the focus of the current study, the themes of children's play are also likely to be influenced by both the dyad composition and reflect individual child characteristics (e.g., Dunn & Hughes, 2001). ...
Article
Pretend play with peers is purportedly an important driver of social development in the preschool period, however, fundamental questions regarding the features of children’s pretend play with a peer, and the effect of the dyad for pretend play, have been overlooked. The current study undertook detailed behavioral coding of social pretend play in 134 pairs of 5‐year‐old children (54% boys) in order to address three main aims: (i) describe the duration and proportion of children engaging in key social pretend play behaviors, namely, calls for attention, negotiation (comprising role assignment and joint proposals) and enactment of pretend play, (ii) examine the effect of the dyad in influencing the occurrence of different social pretend play behaviors, and (iii) assess the independent and combined effect of individual child characteristics (i.e., language ability and sex) that may influence social pretend play behaviors beyond the influence of the dyad. Results demonstrated the overwhelming effect of the dyad in shaping children’s social pretend play behaviors, with language ability and sex explaining relatively little of the total variability in play behaviors. Results are discussed considering the contribution that this type of study can make to theories of associations between children’s social development and social pretend play.
... Signs of disruptive behavior are often present in pre-primary schools. The increased academic and social demands of formal schooling, as well as standards for behaviors are required from children are not usually met (Dunn & Hughes, 2001). Teachers report that these types of children have difficulty in working independently and also lack organization. ...
... As noted by Davey (2011) disruptive behavior result to impaired academic achievement, which usually leads to conflict with classmates. In line with this Coplan Gauinski-Molins, Lagace-Seguin and Wichman (2001), and Dunn and Hughes (2001) noted that children who persist in immature forms of solitary play such as wandering around aimlessly are at risk of manifesting disruptive behaviors. ...
Article
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The study attempted to examine the contexts under which disruptive behaviors occur among pupils in pre-primary and primary schools in Nsukka Urban. The population of the study comprised all pre-primary and schools pupils. A sample of one hundred and sixty-four (164) pupils (both male and female) was drawn. Data was collected through observation. The mean was adopted for answering the research questions. The findings indicated that the context under which disruptive behaviors were displayed by pupils, include the following: when child lacks writing materials, when the environment is noisy, when the child is oppressed by his or her classmates, when the child is frustrated and when the child lacks adequate communication. The findings also indicated that with male pupils, disruptive behaviors occur frequently under all the five items, while with the female pupils disruptive behaviors occur frequently under four of the items and occur slightly on one the items. The psychological implications were also addressed in the study.
... By two years of age, girls prefer objects that are pink whereas boys avoid them (LoBue and DeLoache 2011). Among three-to five-year-olds, boys are likely to prefer cars, trucks, trains, toy guns, and swords, and girls are likely to prefer tea sets, dolls, and dollhouses (Dunn and Hughes 2001;Martin et al. 1990). Children are remarkably astute when it comes to understanding what toys are considered gender-appropriate by the broader culture, even when their parents claim not to hold these stereotyped beliefs (Freeman 2007). ...
... Regarding toy play at W1, girls played with genderconforming and gender-nonconforming toys for approximately equal amounts of time, whereas boys spent more time with toys that fit their gender identity than with those that did not. This finding was consistent with studies of young children's toy play in the context of heterosexual parent families, with boys and girls each preferring gender-conforming toys, both as toddlers and as preschoolers (Cherney et al. 2003;Dinella et al. 2016;Dunn and Hughes 2001;Maccoby 1998;Martin et al. 1990;Snow et al. 1983). Indeed, some other studies have also found that young girls may play equally with gender-conforming and gender-nonconforming toys (Berenbaum and Hines 1992;Cherney et al. 2003;Dinella et al. 2016;Serbin et al. 2001). ...
Article
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Gender-typed behaviors—both gender-conforming and nonconforming—were investigated longitudinally among children in 106 adoptive U.S. families with lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents at two times (Wave 1, preschool-age; Wave 2, school-age) over 5 years. At Wave 1 (W1), parents reported on children’s gender-typed behavior using the Pre-School Activities Inventory (PSAI; Golombok and Rust 1993), and children’s gender-typed toy play was evaluated using observational methods. At Wave 2 (W2), children reported on their own gender-typed behavior using the Children’s Occupations, Activities, and Traits Personal Measure (COAT-PM; Liben and Bigler 2002). Observations of children’s gender-conforming toy play and parents’ reports of children’s gender nonconformity (PSAI) in early childhood (W1) were associated with children’s self-reports of gender nonconformity (COAT-PM) in middle childhood (W2); toy play was most strongly predictive of gender nonconformity 5 years later. Children’s gender-typed behavior also varied by age and gender at both time points, but no significant differences were found as a function of parental sexual orientation across time. Informative to ongoing debates about same-sex parenting, our findings indicate that among children reared by lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents, gender-typing appears to be similar, and predominantly gender-conforming, across early to middle childhood.
... The key shortcomings of this literature are identified. While some studies have utilised different terms (e.g., 'violent fantasy'; Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Konijn, Nije Bijvank, & Bushman, 2007), the term 'aggressive script' is used throughout the following section since the studies included here do not appear to conceptually differentiate between the relevant constructs (unless the relevant term refers to a more specific type of script such as a particular act of violence). ...
... They found that aggressive scripts were consistently associated with later aggressive behavior, supporting the notion that cognitive rehearsal of aggression serves to influence the likelihood of future aggressive acts. Dunn and Hughes (2001) found that violent scripts, assessed through pretend play episodes, were significantly more common amongst conduct disordered pre-school age children than a control group. Three studies have also demonstrated that exposure to aggression is associated with a tendency towards behaving aggressively (Guerra, Huesmann, & Spindler, 2003;Musher-Eizenman et al., 2004;C. ...
Article
Aggressive scripts are stereotyped aggression-related event sequences typically acquired in early childhood, encoded in memory, rehearsed and elaborated, and then retrieved to guide aggressive behavior. In studies using non clinical and non offender populations, aggressive script rehearsal is commonly reported. Extant research suggests a tendency for aggressive script rehearsal to be activated by perceived personal affronts and constitutes imagined attempts to rebuke wrongdoing by others. Aggressive script rehearsal serves to prepare or rehearse intended acts or stimulate, maintain or regulate emotional or physiological arousal. Despite obvious relevance to violent offender assessment and treatment, research into aggressive script rehearsal is scarce and related terms such as violent fantasy are used interchangeably to describe comparable cognitive processes. Measures designed to assess aggressive scripts and violent fantasy are confounded. Further, few attempts have been made to define and differentiate the terms and there has been little progress in developing treatment procedures addressing these cognitive processes. The current review explores how aggressive scripts and violent fantasy are conceptualised with respect to their key characteristics and proposed acquisition processes and functions, noting commonalities and differences. Their relationship to violent behavior is described. Drawing on knowledge in related areas, including fantasy is likely to assist with the development of insight into the operation and function of aggressive scripts and their relationship to aggressive behavior, with implications for clinical practice.
... Six études examinent les liens entre la fonction exécutive et les comportements d'agression durant l'enfance. Dans les quatre premières études (Dunn & Hughes, 2001; Hughes, Dunn & White, 1998; Hughes, White, Sharpen, & Dunn, 2000; Speltz et al., 1999), des échelles globales de comportements turbulents ont été mises en lien avec des mesures spécifiques de la fonction exécutive. Globalement, leurs résultats Cinq études méritent une attention particulière lorsqu'il est question du lien entre la fonction exécutive et les comportements d'agression après l'enfance (Barker et al., 2007; Giancola, Mezzich & Tarter, 1998; Loeber, Pardini, Stouthamer-Loeber, & Raine, 2007; Séguin et al., 1999; Séguin et al., 2004). ...
Chapter
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Ce chapitre présente les résultats des recherches sur les relations entre l'agression et la cognition sous l'angle du QI, en particulier le QI verbal, et de la fonction exécutive. Il s'agit en somme d'identifier les profils intellectuels associés à l'agression et à élucider leurs rôles dans l'étiologie de celle-ci. La première partie du texte constitue un survol historique des premières études concernant les relations entre le QI et la délinquance et des variations du profil cognitif en fonction de diverses caractéristiques de la population délinquante. Dans la deuxième partie, les travaux sur les relations entre l'agression et la cognition à diverses périodes du développement sont recensés: diverses hypothèses étiologiques concernant les relations entre les comportements d'agression et les déficits au niveau du QI global ou verbal sont d'abord examinées, suivies par une recension des travaux plus récents sur les relations entre l'agression et la fonction exécutive. Enfin, la dernière partie propose quelques avenues pour guider l'étude des relations entre l'agression, le langage et la fonction exécutive à diverses périodes du développement.
... While friendships during early childhood may be said to make an important contribution to the development of social cognitiveand social skills beyond experiences with adults (Dunn and Hughes, 2001), friendships during years of youth is however, characterized, or influenced, by also the notion of who one is, or want to be, ones identity. A person's identity is partly influenced by the person's cultural belonging, or maybe also whether the person have several cultural belongings. ...
Article
First, in this article previous research on the issue of friendship during adolescence is reviewed regarding cultural variations in the understanding of differentiating between individualistic and collectivistic cultures. The main theme is then to raise issues that may question the importance and appropriateness of differentiating cultural variations in these two categories. How the identity consists of different dimensions is focused. Furthermore, the impact of social and cultural changes on peer interaction and friendships is paid attention to. This article concludes with a discussion of future directions for friendship in research on adolescence and cultural variations.
... One part of social-emotional development involves social skills, which refer to pro-social behaviors such as helping, sharing, caring, and empathizing with others (Eisenberg, Fabes, & Spinrad, 2006). This domain also involves the development of other positive social bonds (Dunn & Hughes, 2001). ...
... Children with disruptive behaviors have been shown to display more negative affect in their play and lower levels of affect regulation [17,59,11]. Dunn and Hughes found that children who were hyperactive and displayed conduct problems showed more physical aggression in their pretend games [19]. Similarly, children with disruptive behavior disorders such as Conduct Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder show more hostility and anger in their play [14]. ...
Conference Paper
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Assessment of emotional expressions of young children during clinical work is an important, yet arduous task. Especially in natural play scenarios, there are not many constraints on the behavior of the children, and the expression palette is rich. There are many approaches developed for the automatic analysis of affect, particularly from facial expressions, paralinguistic features of the voice, as well as from the myriads of non-verbal signals emitted during interactions. In this work, we describe a tool that analyzes verbal interactions of children during play therapy. Our approach uses natural language processing techniques and tailors a generic affect analysis framework to the psychotherapy domain, automatically annotating spoken sentences on valence and arousal dimensions. We work with Turkish texts, for which there are far less natural language processing resources than English, and our approach illustrates how to rapidly develop such a system for non-English languages. We evaluate our approach with longitudinal psychotherapy data, collected and annotated over a one year period, and show that our system produces good results in line with professional clinicians’ assessments.
... The social benefits of play for young children extend from developing friendships and participating cooperatively to maintaining those friendships by developing trusting relations (Hewes & McEwan, 2006;Pellegrini, 1988;Reed, Brown & Roth, 2000). Through social pretend play, young children learn to build strong peer relationships (Dunn & Hughes, 2001). Play provides children with the opportunities to develop concepts of right and wrong, and good and bad (Bauer & Dettore, 1997) in support of social-emotional development. ...
Article
THE APPROPRIATENESS OF YOUNG children’s playful aggression within early childhood settings continues to be debated among early childhood professionals. Research suggests that children’s play—all types of play—should be the foundation of early childhood practice; however, playful aggression continues to be a neglected aspect of early childhood curricula. While decades of research identify the significant developmental benefits within multiple domains of learning as derived from various aspects of play, strict policies prohibiting playful aggression remain. With a growing number of young children enrolled in preschool programs it is important for educators to provide beneficial and inclusive experiences conducive to fostering optimal development of young children in all learning domains. This article suggests that the intolerance of children’s playful aggression may reduce their optimal development; more specifically, their cognitive, social, physical and communicative development may be limited or hindered due to the omission and/or exclusion of playfully aggressive opportunities.
... As evidence, they point out that there are dramatic developments in EF abilities precisely during the time that RED related behaviors are hypothesized to emerge (e.g., the ability to represent and consider multiple behavioral alternatives, weight multiple consequences of behavior, Fontaine et al., 2009). Furthermore, they note that poor EF is often linked to more aggressive behaviors and social problems, possibly due to issues in the SIP system related to EF (e.g., children may have a difficult time inhibiting aggressive options when contemplating which behavior to choose, Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Zelazo & M€ uller, 2002). Thus, although direct links between EF and friendship quality have not yet been fully explored, existing work in the literature may suggest that EF could relate to friendship quality through its influence on social problem solving in school-age children. ...
Article
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The present study examined links between best friendship quality, social problem solving in response to a transgression and conscious control of behavior (i.e., executive function or EF). Eighty-one 7- to 10-year-olds answered questions about their best friendship quality and responses to friendship transgressions (i.e., interpretations, goals, and strategies they would endorse). They also completed a battery of EF tasks measuring working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results revealed few relations between social problem solving and best friendship quality. Social problem solving related to EF abilities, with inhibition relating to fewer revenge goals and cognitive flexibility relating to more neutral interpretations. Better working memory related to worse best friendship quality. Finally, verbal IQ was a strong predictor of several positive social problem-solving interpretations, goals, and strategies. Results suggest cognitive abilities in EF and language may be important to consider during middle childhood in this period of advancing social problem solving and friendships.
... Many preschool and early childhood studies examined relations between cognitive impairment and overall levels of disruptive behavior, including inattention, hyperactivity, opposition, and aggression. In several studies (e.g., Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Hughes, Dunn, & White, 1998;Hughes, White, Sharpen, & Dunn, 2000), global scales of disruptive behaviors were associated with specific measures of EF. Results of a recent meta-analysis show EF deficits to be related to externalizing behavior problems in preschool (Schoemaker, Mulder, Dekovic, & Matthys, 2013). A medium effect size was found for overall EF and externalizing behavior problems (d = 0.45). ...
Chapter
Relations between cognition and behavior have been at the center of many discussions/debates among researchers interested in externalizing psychopathology. This chapter focuses on links among low intelligence, executive function deficits, and externalizing behavior. The authors first provide a historical overview, followed by a review of studies on traditional approaches to externalizing behavior problems, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, delinquency, antisocial personality disorder, and substance use disorders. Next, current research trends are presented, with a focus on recent research that explores how comorbidity among disorders, specific symptoms, and specific traits associated with externalizing spectrum disorders are related to cognitive impairments. Developmental considerations are then examined. The chapter closes with some proposed avenues to guide future study of cognition and externalizing behaviors.
... This module was aimed at familiarizing parents with the developmental milestones of pretend play, and pretend play's relevance to children's learning and to their ability to develop positive relationships, as this type of play offers valuable opportunities for children to exercise perspective-taking, a skill which is of significant importance to building and maintaining friendships (Dunn and Cutting 1999;Elkind 2007;Hughes and Dunn 1997). Also, special emphasis was placed on the need to encourage non-aggressive pretend play, which was found to predict children's improved ability to establish friendships (Dunn and Cutting 1999;Dunn and Hughes 2001). The practical skills learned by parents during this module were focused on how they can help children develop prosocial behaviors (i.e., sharing, turntaking, helping, cooperating) by being involved in their play activities. ...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on providing an overview of the theoretical background for the development and the efficacy assessment of prevention programs for preschool children. Given that social-emotional competencies represent a protective factor against the development of behavior problems, the first aim is to clarify which types of skills and behaviors preschoolers should acquire during this developmental stage to reduce the risk of maladaptive development. The second aim is to discuss how children’s social-emotional development is interwoven with environmental factors in enhancing or decreasing children’s risk of maladjustment. And finally, this chapter is intended to offer a systematic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of currently available evidence-based preventive interventions designed to enhance preschool children’s social-emotional development, and reduce the risk of behavior problems.
... This module was aimed at familiarizing parents with the developmental milestones of pretend play, and pretend play's relevance to children's learning and to their ability to develop positive relationships, as this type of play offers valuable opportunities for children to exercise perspective-taking, a skill which is of significant importance to building and maintaining friendships (Dunn and Cutting 1999;Elkind 2007;Hughes and Dunn 1997). Also, special emphasis was placed on the need to encourage non-aggressive pretend play, which was found to predict children's improved ability to establish friendships (Dunn and Cutting 1999;Dunn and Hughes 2001). The practical skills learned by parents during this module were focused on how they can help children develop prosocial behaviors (i.e., sharing, turntaking, helping, cooperating) by being involved in their play activities. ...
Chapter
This chapter addresses the manner in which knowledge from evidence-based preventive programs can be translated into developing an intervention for optimizing social-emotional competencies, and reducing preschool children’s risk of behavior problems. The chapter provides an overview of the background and rationale of the Social-Emotional Prevention Program (SEP) development considering theory driven assumptions, and the context of the Romanian preschool education system. It also provides a comparison between the SEP and evidence-based preventive programs to highlight similarities, as well as innovative approaches proposed by this prevention program. The final part of the chapter includes a detailed description of the SEP objectives, structure and content. The description covers the classroom curriculum, as well as the teacher and parent training of this multi-focused intervention.
... Although identical results have not been obtained in the previous research, it is known that there are similar results. Dunn and Hughes (2001) have determined that hyperactive children have displayed more physical aggression behaviours in the pretend play. Also, in some research, it has been suggested that some aggressive behaviours impulse may increase in the story-telling included in the content of the pretend play (Fehr & Russ, 2013;Von Klitzing, Kelsay, Emde, Robinson, & Scmitz, 2000).In reviewing the literature, no data was found on the association between relational aggression and pretend play. ...
Article
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The purpose of this research is to examine cultural difference in Turkish and American preschoolers’ play, aggression and victimization behaviours. The research has been performed in a nursery school affiliated to a university in one of the big cities of Turkey and in two nursery schools affiliated to a university in one of the Northern states of the United States of America. It was composed of 55 Turkish children, 36–72 months old, (29 girls, 26 boys) and 50 American children, 36–72 months old, (32 boys, 18 girls), totally 105 children (61 boys, 44 girls). Observations and teacher report were used in this study. According to the results; Turkish children showed more physical and relational aggression and victimized more than American children. American children showed parallel play more than Turkish children, and Turkish children engaged in pretend play more than American children. Surprisingly, the most interesting result; social pretend play is predicted observed and teacher reported relational aggression in both cultures.
... In terms of play characteristics, children with internalizing and externalizing problems have problems with symbolic play organization, specifically with regard to the regulation of negative affect. Children with externalizing problems display more negative affect in their play, particularly aggression (Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Halfon, Oktay, & Salah, 2016) and lower levels of affect regulation (Butcher & Niec, 2005;Halfon, 2017). Children's narrative incoherence, specifically dysregulated aggression, and the intrusion of negative atypical themes in attachment-related play tasks are substantially correlated with parents' reports of externalizing symptoms (Von Klitzing, Kelsay, Emde, Robinson, & Schmitz, 2000). ...
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Internalizing and externalizing problems have been related to negative emotionality, and affect regulation deficits in several studies. Certain psychodynamic models of treatment use children’s symbolic play activity as a medium to mentalize negative emotions in order to develop children’s affect regulation. However, the complex associations among these constructs and their associations with outcome have not been examined. This study aimed to investigate, first, whether average mentalization practices in treatment, as well as session-to-session expression of negative emotions and symbolic play predict gains in affect regulation and, second, whether changes in these variables are associated with clinically significant change in symptoms and global function. The sample included 40 outpatient children, who underwent long-term psychodynamic treatment. Nine hundred seventy-five sessions were coded for children’s symbolic play, affect expression (anger and dysphoric affect), and affect regulation characteristics, and each treatment was scored for average adherence to mentalizing principles. Time Series Panel Analyses (TSPA) indicated session-to session use of symbolic play predicted gains in affect regulation. A significant 2-way interaction indicated that dysphoric affect expression in high mentalization adherent treatments was associated with higher affect regulation than in low adherent treatments. Partial correlation analyses indicated that mentalization adherence in treatment was associated with symptomatic improvement at trend level of significance, and changes in affect regulation and symbolic play were significantly associated with gains in global function. Findings point to the importance of use of symbolic play, and dysphoric affect expression in the context of mentalization practices for gains in affect regulation and outcome. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
... 18,19 However, children who exhibit significantly higher rates of antisocial behaviour and negative emotion display more violent actions during pretend play and engage in more frequent antisocial behaviour outside the context of their play. 20 Additional support is PLAY Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development ©2013 CEECD / SKC-ECD Hart JL, Tannock MT 3 needed for young children who lack age-appropriate prosocial skills and emotional regulation. Smilansky 21 suggests socio-dramatic play involves the cooperative interaction of at least two children, who act out roles both verbally and physically, with two key elements: imitation and make-believe. ...
... Lindsey & Colwell, 2013;Pellegrini & Smith, 1998). Similarly, even though the enactment of monsters and violent themes was categorized under the category of rough-and-tumble play, other studies consider such behaviours as pretend play, and others consider it as physical play without further differentiation (Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Lindsey & Colwell, 2003). ...
Article
Social interactions at the playground have been represented as a rich learning opportunity to hone and master social skills at preschool years. Specifically, all forms of social play (fantasy, role, exercise or rough-and-tumble) have been related to children's social competence. The main goal of this study was to examine whether it is a certain kind of social play which facilitates the development of social competence, or if it is just the opportunity for interacting during recess that provides children with an optimal environment for social learning. A total of 73 preschoolers (4–6 years old) were videotaped at the school's playground. Teachers provided assessments of children's social competence. Children's interactions at the playground were assessed through an innovative measuring method, based on radio-frequency identification devices. The results showed a positive association between exercise play and children's social competence. In contrast with the literature, both forms of pretend play, fantasy and role play were unrelated to children's social competence. Smaller peer groups and longer interactions also demonstrated a positive association with these preschoolers' social competence. The study shows the importance of outdoor physical play for preschoolers' social success. Moreover, the study suggests that the environment in which children play has an important effect on the adaptive nature of their play. Copyright
... Overall, the frequency of negative affect observed during a play task is significantly correlated with mental health difficulties. Empirical research mostly coming from developmental psychology shows that children with externalizing problems display more negative affect in their play, particularly aggression (Dunn & Hughes, 2001). Von Klitzing et al. (2000) found that expressing negative and/or aggressive affect in disorganized pretend play predicted externalizing problems. ...
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Objective: We explore state of the art machine learning based tools for automatic facial and linguistic affect analysis to allow easier, faster, and more precise quantification and annotation of children’s verbal and non-verbal affective expressions in psychodynamic child psychotherapy. Method: The sample included 53 Turkish children: 41 with internalizing, externalizing and comorbid problems; 12 in the non-clinical range. We collected audio and video recordings of 148 sessions, which were manually transcribed. Independent raters coded children’s expressions of pleasure, anger, sadness and anxiety using the Children’s Play Therapy Instrument (CPTI). Automatic facial and linguistic affect analysis modalities were adapted, developed, and combined in a system that predicts affect. Statistical regression methods (linear and polynomial regression) and machine learning techniques (deep learning, support vector regression and extreme learning machine) were used for predicting CPTI affect dimensions. Results: Experimental results show significant associations between automated affect predictions and CPTI affect dimensions with small to medium effect sizes. Fusion of facial and linguistic features work best for pleasure predictions; however, for other affect predictions linguistic analyses outperform facial analyses. External validity analyses partially support anger and pleasure predictions. Discussion: The system enables retrieving affective expressions of children, but needs improvement for precision.
... Research has documented the existence of gender-typed toy preferences as early as 18 months of age, with girls looking significantly more at dolls and boys contemplating cars more (Jadva, Hines & Golombok, 2010). Children's gender-typed preferences for toys grow larger with development (Golombok & Hines, 2002); studies conducted in the US (Goldberg, Kashy & Smith, 2012), Sweden (Nelson, 2005) or the UK (Dunn & Hughes, 2001) have reported consistent patterns, indicating that girls prefer dolls, stuffed animals and educational toys, whereas boys prefer vehicles, action figures, tool sets or construction toys. In addition to differences in preferences, boys and girls show a stronger bias for toys stereotyped as own-gender than for cross-gender-typed or gender-neutral toys (Cherney, Kelly-Vance, Gill, Ruane & Ryalls, 2003). ...
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The main aim of this review was to examine international research on children’s preferences regarding gender-typed objects and colours. Firstly, we provide the theoretical background on gender development to elucidate the ways in which individuals can learn gender stereotypes and develop gender-related preferences. Secondly, we review international research on gender-related preferences. Thirdly, we analyse empirical studies on gender stereotypes in children conducted in Spain and Latin American countries, and show that although gender is a priority research area in these countries, studies on gender development in childhood are lacking. Thus, our aim was to identify a set of issues that provide insights into the development of gender-typed preferences, and that also suggest new directions for researchers in Spanish-speaking countries who are interested in clarifying the relationship between gender and children’s preferences for objects and colours.
... Salah satu bagian dari perkembangan sosial dan emosional melibatkan keterampilan sosial, yang mengacu pada perilaku pro-sosial seperti membantu, berbagi, peduli, dan berempati dengan orang lain (Eisenberg, Fabes dan Spinrad, 2006). Domain ini juga melibatkan pengembangan ikatan sosial positif lainnya (Dunn dan Hughes, 2001). Perilaku dan keterampilan sosial sangat penting pada anak usia dini dan anak usia dini merupakan periode kunci untuk menetapkan dasar bagi pengembangan perilaku sosial. ...
Thesis
Pemanfaatan budaya visual dalam pendidikan seni merupakan salah satu sarana untuk mengembangkan kreativitas dalam menciptakan kebaruan budaya. Pendidikan seni yang menerapkan pendekatan budaya perlu dikembangkan karena melalui pendekatan ini bisa tercapainya salah satu tujuan pendidikan yaitu membentuk manusia seutuhnya secara komprehensif. Sifat multidisiplin dalam pendidikan seni yaitu mengembangkan kemampuan dasar manusia dalam dimensi fisik, perseptual, intelektual, emosional, sosial, kreativitas dan estetik. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk menganalisis bentuk dan karakteristik karya seni rupa berbasis budaya visual pada anak usia dini, menganalisis komponen pembelajaran seni rupa berbasis budaya visual pada anak usia dini dan menganalisis peran seni rupa berbasis budaya visual dalam perkembangan anak usia dini. Pendekatan yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah penelitian kualitatif. Objek yang diteliti adalah budaya visual yang diimplementasikan dalam pembelajaran seni rupa anak usia dini. Desain penelitian yang digunakan adalah analisis studi kasus untuk menganalisis dan menafsirkan literatur serta tanggapan (data) yang diperoleh dari hasil observasi, wawancara dan dokumentasi. Data-data dalam penelitian ini bersumber dari peserta didik, guru, hasil karya seni rupa anak, dan dokumen guru. Analisis tentang bentuk dan karakteristik karya seni rupa berbasis budaya visual pada anak usia dini menggunakan teori perkembangan artistik, analisis komponen pembelajaran seni rupa berbasis budaya visual pada anak usia dini menggunakan teori komponen pembelajaran, dan analisis peran seni rupa berbasis budaya visual dalam perkembangan anak usia dini menggunakan teori perkembangan anak. Karya seni rupa yang dihasilkan oleh masing-masing anak memiliki perbedaan satu sama lain. Hal ini dikarenakan anak memiliki persepsi sendiri dalam mengungkapkan ide berdasarkan hasil pengamatannya. Ada tiga jenis bentuk gambar anak yang dihasilkan yaitu bentuk visual, haptic dan campuran visual-haptic. Karya seni rupa anak TK Negeri Pembina Semarang memiliki karakteristik yang beragam yaitu organis, liris, ekspresionisme dan khayal. Kegiatan pembelajaran Pendidikan Seni Rupa Berbasis Budaya Visual Pada Anak Usia Dini tentunya memiliki komponen atau unsur unsur yang mendukung tercapainya tujuan pembelajaran. Komponen-komponen sistem pembelajaran meliputi tujuan, materi pembelajaran, strategi dan model pembelajaran, media, dan evaluasi. Seni rupa berbasis budaya visual sebagai bagian dari pelajaran seni diciptakan dengan memperhatikan perkembangan anak seutuhnya seperti pengembangan kognitif dengan aspek yang muncul adalah kemampuan mengamati, kemampuan berpikir kritis dan kreatif, dan kemampuan memecahkan masalah. Aspek pengembangan bahasa yang muncul adalah pengembangan kosa kata dan komunikasi. Aspek pengembangan sosial yang muncul adalah kesadaran diri, manajemen diri, pengambilan keputusan, keterampilan berhubungan dan kesadaran sosial. Aspek pengambangan motorik yang muncul yaitu pengembangan otot jari, pengembangan keterampilan menulis, dan koordinasi mata dan tangan.
... The findings reported here have implications for victim support and prevention. In particular, ruminative violent ideations may in themselves contribute to more negative outcomes for victims of violence, including longer and more extensive feelings of embitterment and a higher risk of own externalizing behaviors (Dunn & Hughes, 2001;Guerra et al., 2003;Moeller et al., 2017;Murray et al., 2017;Persson et al., 2018;C. E. Smith et al., 2009). ...
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Violent ideations are increasingly recognized as an important psychological pre-dictor for aggressive and violent behavior. However, little is known about the processes that contribute to violent ideations. This paper examines the extent to which polyvictimization triggers violent ideations in late adolescence and early adulthood, while also adjusting for dispositional and situational factors as well as prior violent ideations. Data came from three waves of the Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood into Adulthood (z-proso; n = 1465). Full-information maximum likelihood Tobit models were fitted to regress violent ideations experienced at ages 17 and 20 on multiple victimization experiences in the preceding 12 months while controlling for antecedent developmental risk factors and prior violent ideations. The results showed that violent ideations in late adolescence and early adulthood are influenced by violent thoughts, aggressive behavior , violent media consumption, moral neutralization of violence, and internalizing symptoms measured 2 years earlier. Experiences of polyvictimization significantly contributed to an increase in violent ideations both during late adolescence and in early adulthood. The exposure-response relationship between victimization and violent ideations did not significantly differ by sex. The findings are consistent with the notion that violent ideations are triggered by a retaliation-linked psychological mechanism that entails playing out other directed imaginary aggressive scenarios specifically in response to experiencing intentional harm-doing by others.
Chapter
Though it is generally acknowledged that parents are directly implicated in how and what their children learn about right and wrong, little is known about how the process of moral socialization proceeds in the context of family life, and how it gets played out in actual parent-child conversations. This volume brings together psychological research conducted in different countries documenting how parents and their children of different ages talk about everyday issues that bear on right and wrong. More than 150 excerpts from real parent-child conversations about children's own good and bad behaviors and about broader ethical concerns that interest both parents and children, such as global warming or gender equality, provide a unique window into the moral-socialization process in action. Talking about Right and Wrong also underscores distinct psychological and sociocultural processes that explain how such everyday conversations may further, or hinder, children's moral development.
Chapter
Though it is generally acknowledged that parents are directly implicated in how and what their children learn about right and wrong, little is known about how the process of moral socialization proceeds in the context of family life, and how it gets played out in actual parent-child conversations. This volume brings together psychological research conducted in different countries documenting how parents and their children of different ages talk about everyday issues that bear on right and wrong. More than 150 excerpts from real parent-child conversations about children's own good and bad behaviors and about broader ethical concerns that interest both parents and children, such as global warming or gender equality, provide a unique window into the moral-socialization process in action. Talking about Right and Wrong also underscores distinct psychological and sociocultural processes that explain how such everyday conversations may further, or hinder, children's moral development.
Chapter
Though it is generally acknowledged that parents are directly implicated in how and what their children learn about right and wrong, little is known about how the process of moral socialization proceeds in the context of family life, and how it gets played out in actual parent-child conversations. This volume brings together psychological research conducted in different countries documenting how parents and their children of different ages talk about everyday issues that bear on right and wrong. More than 150 excerpts from real parent-child conversations about children's own good and bad behaviors and about broader ethical concerns that interest both parents and children, such as global warming or gender equality, provide a unique window into the moral-socialization process in action. Talking about Right and Wrong also underscores distinct psychological and sociocultural processes that explain how such everyday conversations may further, or hinder, children's moral development.
Chapter
Het begrip agressief heeft een dubbele betekenis. In het Latijn kon aggredior zowel aanvallen betekenen als iets ondernemen. Tegenwoordig wordt het in het bedrijfsleven dikwijls op prijs gesteld als een agressieve koers wordt gevaren. En ook in sport wordt van spelers vaak een agressieve houding verwacht. Daarom is het goed hier duidelijk te stellen dat het in dit hoofdstuk alleen over de als negatief gewaardeerde antisociale agressie gaat. Het agressieve gedrag dat als onwenselijk wordt ervaren en dat er bijvoorbeeld ook niet op is gericht om onrechtvaardigheid te bestrijden.
Chapter
Though it is generally acknowledged that parents are directly implicated in how and what their children learn about right and wrong, little is known about how the process of moral socialization proceeds in the context of family life, and how it gets played out in actual parent-child conversations. This volume brings together psychological research conducted in different countries documenting how parents and their children of different ages talk about everyday issues that bear on right and wrong. More than 150 excerpts from real parent-child conversations about children's own good and bad behaviors and about broader ethical concerns that interest both parents and children, such as global warming or gender equality, provide a unique window into the moral-socialization process in action. Talking about Right and Wrong also underscores distinct psychological and sociocultural processes that explain how such everyday conversations may further, or hinder, children's moral development.
Chapter
Though it is generally acknowledged that parents are directly implicated in how and what their children learn about right and wrong, little is known about how the process of moral socialization proceeds in the context of family life, and how it gets played out in actual parent-child conversations. This volume brings together psychological research conducted in different countries documenting how parents and their children of different ages talk about everyday issues that bear on right and wrong. More than 150 excerpts from real parent-child conversations about children's own good and bad behaviors and about broader ethical concerns that interest both parents and children, such as global warming or gender equality, provide a unique window into the moral-socialization process in action. Talking about Right and Wrong also underscores distinct psychological and sociocultural processes that explain how such everyday conversations may further, or hinder, children's moral development.
Thesis
p>Children’s AD/HD often elicits a negative parental response but little is known about the impact of parental AD/HD on parenting. In this thesis, I examined the impact of child and parent AD/HD and their interaction on parenting. In Study 1, these effects were examined using questionnaire-based measures of parenting provided by 95 mothers of school children. In Study 2, these self reports were replaced by direct observations of mother-child interactions and Expressed Emotion (EE) in 192 mothers of preschoolers. In Study 3, they were extended further by adding measures of empathy and by examining both mothers’ (N= 277) and fathers’ (N-86) parenting. The results demonstrated that child AD/HD symptoms were associated with negative parenting and hostile EE. Maternal AD/HD symptoms were positively associated with hostile EE, and negatively with empathy and positive parenting. Interestingly, mothers with high AD/HD symptoms had more positive and less negative parenting and personal distress for the children with high AD/HD symptoms. In contrast, fathers with high AD/HD symptoms had more negative parenting for the children with high AD/HD symptoms. These findings raised the question of whether the effects of child-parental similarity in AD/HD generalise to emotional/depressive characteristics. An analysis revealed that child-mother similarity in emotional/depressive characteristics decreased Negative Expressed Emotion (NEE). Indeed, mothers with high depressive characteristics displayed the same levels of NEE regardless of the severity of child emotional symptoms. The results of the thesis highlight the importance of taking account of maternal (and paternal) AD/HD when assessing the parenting of children with AD/HD. The findings may be especially significant in planning new clinical services and treatments for AD/HD.</p
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This conceptual paper presents an approach to conducting visual research with children. It locates research praxis within an ecological framework where researchers operate within spheres of moral and emotional engagement through play. It critiques research activities that consider ethics as a system to manage the behavioral conduct of researchers, sometimes resulting in a disconnect between those doing research and those being researched, and proposes instead an ecological form of collaborative ethical enquiry. Targeted at research practitioners, the text is written from the perspective of the first author’s research with children using film. It charts various research activities that were located at a small off-grid school in Cornwall, UK, and discusses the ethical dilemmas encountered and the measures used to overcome them.
Article
This study investigates the use of imaginative role-play games to sponsor positive development in young adult moral reasoning. Twelve college students participated in six approximately 4-hour gaming sessions using a customized game system based on Dungeons & Dragons™ (D&D, 1974, 4th ed.). The games contained embedded social/moral dilemmas (e.g., whether to torture a prisoner for information) that participants encountered and had to work through as a group. Significant growth in moral development, as measured with the Defining Issues Test and the Self-Understanding Interview was demonstrated in the gaming groups, but was not replicated in two control groups, who did not participate in the gaming sessions. This suggests that imaginative role-play gaming structures can function as an engaging, interactive “moral training ground,” a medium that promotes moral development, and highlights the difference between antisocial and prosocial violence.
Chapter
Classical Antiquity is a particularly important field in terms of “Hope studies” […]. For centuries, the ancient tradition, and classical mythology in particular, has been a common reference point for whole hosts of creators of culture, across many parts of the world, and with the new media and globalization only increasing its impact. Thus, in our research at this stage, we have decided to study how the authors of literary and audiovisual texts for youth make use of the ancient myths to support their young protagonists (and readers or viewers) in crucial moments of their existence, on their road into adulthood, and in those dark hours when it seems that life is about to shatter and fade away. However, if Hope is summoned in time, the crisis can be overcome and the protagonist grows stronger, with a powerful uplifting message for the public. […] Owing to this, we get a chance to remain true to our ideas, to keep faith in our dreams, and, when the decisive moment comes, to choose not hatred but love, not darkness but light. Katarzyna Marciniak, University of Warsaw, From the introductory chapter
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Learning neuroscience offers an alternative to the development of intelligence potential learners linguistic and logical through physical movement, rohamiah, physical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist and existential. The learning system includes morality codes of learners are packed in Islamic boarding school education curriculum with teaching presentation of cognitive, affective and psychomotor. Islamic education boarding school curriculum neurosains apply learning methods for the development of intellect learners so in the formation of character can maximize the performance of sense. In neuroscience of learning, students are given the opportunity to actively construct knowledge through learning. Thus, neuroscience learning combined with a variety of disciplines so integrated into the mainstream of the formation of character.
Article
Children’s ability to engage in pretend play is important for healthy development. However, relative to cognitive play features, only a handful of studies have examined the influence of affect expression in pretend play on child development. This study evaluated prospective relations of 250 preschoolers’ (Mage = 49.05 months, SD = 2.95; 50% female; 46% Latinx) expressions of prosocial and aggressive affect themes in solitary pretend play with their prosocial and aggressive behaviors in laboratory and school settings two years later. Prosocial and aggressive affect themes in preschoolers’ pretend play evidenced specific and positive relations with prosocial and aggressive behaviors in the laboratory two years later, but not with teacher‐reported behaviors in school. Multigroup analyses indicatedthese relations did not vary as a function of child gender, ethnicity‐race, or poverty status. This study illustrates the complexity and behavioral significance of children’s affect expression in pretend play. Implications for understanding children’s play and social development include the need to consider affective (in addition to cognitive) play features, including specific affect themes in pretend play, as a potential window into children’s behavioral strengths and vulnerabilities.
Article
This paper explores the potential effects of digital games on the early latency phase, a period marked by foundational cognitive, social, and self-regulatory developments as well as by a unique set of vulnerabilities. Although research in this area is relatively scarce, recent studies suggest that rising numbers of five- to eight-year-olds engage in the use of digital devices and that Internet games are increasingly targeted to younger audiences. Some theorists caution about the impact of violent imagery and unrealistic media-based depictions of people and relationships, whereas others propose that digital technologies offer new opportunities for autonomy, personal expression, and community with online peers. The following questions arise: as the boundary between real and virtual play grows porous, do digital games fall within the realm of make-believe play and serve the developmental functions of solitary and shared pretense? Might the highly stimulating, fast-paced, and immediately gratifying nature of digital devices interfere with emerging self-regulatory capacities? How does the young child experience virtual friendships? Psychoanalytic theory offers a unique vantage point for examining these contemporary issues by illuminating the developmental capacities, challenges, and vulnerabilities of early latency that interface with cultural experiences; these include the child’s increasing sense of separateness and autonomy, the presence of enhanced cognitive abilities but shaky superego capacities, and a deepening investment in the world beyond the family. References to the treatment of a six-year-old girl are used to illustrate the potential meanings of digital play. © 2017 Claudia Lament, Wendy Olesker, Paul Brinich and Rona Knight.
Article
Fictional stories can affect many aspects of children’s behavior and cognition, yet little is known about how they might help or hinder children’s executive function skills. The current study investigated the role of story content (fantasy or reality) and mode of engagement with the story (pretense or a non-pretense control) on children’s inhibitory control, an important component of early executive function. A total of 60 3-year-olds were randomly assigned to hear a fantastical or realistic story and were encouraged to engage in either pretense or a non-pretense activity related to the story. They then completed the Less Is More task of inhibitory control. Story content had no impact on children’s inhibitory control; children performed equally well after hearing a fantastical or realistic story. However, children who engaged in story-related pretend play showed greater inhibitory control than those who engaged in a non-pretense activity. We found no interaction between story content and play engagement type. These results held when controlling for baseline inhibitory control, receptive vocabulary, age, gender, affect, and propensity toward pretense. Therefore, mode of play engagement with a story was more important in promoting children’s inhibitory control skills than the degree of realism in the story.
Article
The six-step social information processing (SIP) model (Crick & Dodge, 1994) describes how children respond to difficult social situations, but little is known about the underlying cognitive abilities that support the individual SIP steps. Given excu executive function’s (EF) association with behavioral displays of competent and aggressive responses to provocation, the current study examined how three EF components (i.e., response inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility) relate to four SIP steps (i.e., encoding, interpretation, response generation, and response evaluation). In addition, the current study looked at how attributions made about the transgressor in the first two SIP steps affect processing in the later SIP steps. Seventy-two 4- to 5-year-old children completed one EF task for each component and were given a structured interview that assessed four steps of the SIP model. Working memory and age were related to encoding (fact recall and emotion attributions), response generation, and response evaluation. Cognitive flexibility was only related to response evaluation. The individual contributions of EF and age, as well as early SIP steps, differ for each step. The specific processes by which working memory may relate to each step are discussed, as well as how the encoding step provides a foundation for adequate processing in later steps. The results of the current study provide novel information about how cognitive processes contribute to the development of SIP.
Article
Growing evidence highlights the importance of executive functions (EFs) for optimal development. Unfortunately, existing literature documents compounding deficits in EF due to the stressors associated with poverty. Recent research supports a positive relationship between pretense and EF, but few studies have examined the longitudinal association between these variables in a low-income sample. As such, the current study investigated whether pretend play behaviors among a sample of 191 Head Start preschoolers predicted EF outcomes in first grade, and whether pretend play mitigated the adverse consequences of cumulative risk on children’s EF development. Results revealed a positive, prospective relationship between pretense in preschool and EF in first grade. In addition, pretend play moderated a negative association between cumulative risk in preschool and EF outcomes in first grade, with the association being weaker for children who engaged in more pretend play relative to those who engaged in less pretend play. Follow-up analyses suggest that pretend play may be particularly important for the inhibitory control aspect of EF in this sample.
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Cambridge Core - Educational Psychology - The Cambridge Handbook of Play - edited by Peter K. Smith
Chapter
Though it is generally acknowledged that parents are directly implicated in how and what their children learn about right and wrong, little is known about how the process of moral socialization proceeds in the context of family life, and how it gets played out in actual parent-child conversations. This volume brings together psychological research conducted in different countries documenting how parents and their children of different ages talk about everyday issues that bear on right and wrong. More than 150 excerpts from real parent-child conversations about children's own good and bad behaviors and about broader ethical concerns that interest both parents and children, such as global warming or gender equality, provide a unique window into the moral-socialization process in action. Talking about Right and Wrong also underscores distinct psychological and sociocultural processes that explain how such everyday conversations may further, or hinder, children's moral development.
Article
Growing evidence supports pretense as a positive predictor of executive function (EF) in early childhood. However, there is a need for well controlled, experimental studies examining the effects of various styles of pretense on EF development in diverse populations. The present study included 179 preschoolers (ages 2–5; 38% low-income, in Head Start), randomly assigned to one of four conditions: Fantastical Pretense, Realistic Pretense, Non-Imaginative Play, or Business-as-Usual Control, with no pre-test group differences. After 5 weeks of daily intervention, data suggest that fantastical pretense, but not other styles of pretense/play, facilitates EF development among non-Head Start, middle-class children. Head Start children did not benefit, perhaps due to lower levels of engagement as well as lower initial EF levels and propensities towards pretense. These data highlight the value of engaging in fantastical pretend play among middle-class populations and emphasize the need to further investigate the role of pretense in at-risk samples.
Chapter
Though it is generally acknowledged that parents are directly implicated in how and what their children learn about right and wrong, little is known about how the process of moral socialization proceeds in the context of family life, and how it gets played out in actual parent-child conversations. This volume brings together psychological research conducted in different countries documenting how parents and their children of different ages talk about everyday issues that bear on right and wrong. More than 150 excerpts from real parent-child conversations about children's own good and bad behaviors and about broader ethical concerns that interest both parents and children, such as global warming or gender equality, provide a unique window into the moral-socialization process in action. Talking about Right and Wrong also underscores distinct psychological and sociocultural processes that explain how such everyday conversations may further, or hinder, children's moral development.
Article
Full-text available
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a brief behavioral screening questionnaire that can be completed in 5 minutes by the parents or teachers of children aged 4 to 16; there is a self-report version for 11- to 16-year-olds. In this study, mothers completed the SDQ and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) on 132 children aged 4 through 7 and drawn from psychiatric and dental clinics. Scores from the SDQ and CBCL were highly correlated and equally able to discriminate psychiatric from dental cases. As judged against a semistructured interview, the SDQ was significantly better than the CBCL at detecting inattention and hyperactivity, and at least as good at detecting internalizing and externalizing problems. Mothers of low-risk children were twice as likely to prefer the SDQ.
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An information-processing model is outlined that predicts that performance on non-routine tasks can be impaired independently of performance on routine tasks. The model is related to views on frontal lobe functions, particularly those of Luria. Two methods of obtaining more rigorous tests of the model are discussed. One makes use of ideas from artificial intelligence to derive a task heavily loaded on planning abilities. A group of patients with left anterior lesions has a specific deficit on the task. Subsidiary investigations support the inference that this is a planning impairment.
The Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC) is designed to collect data from a variety of sources in order to determine the features of the environment that affect the health, well-being and development of children. In doing so, the study collects extensive data on the health and well-being of the mother and her partner both during pregnancy and as the child develops. The parallel study of the three individuals is expected to provide valuable information concerning the aetiology of a variety of different conditions.
Article
Twenty-four behaviourally disruptive (BD) and 24 typical 6- to 12-year-old children were given two interviews in which they judged the emotional outcomes and provided rationales for emotions resulting from inhibitory moral, conventional, prosocial, and personal socio-moral events. Children's emotional expectancies varied with the socio-moral rule system and event participant (actor vs. recipient) being assessed. In addition, BD and typical children differed in some of the emotions and rationales they anticipated as outcomes. Group differences were most pronounced for inhibitory (victimization) and prosocial morality. Compared to their peers, BD children minimized the fear associated with victimization, and explained victimizers' emotions with more references to desirable material and psychological consequences, and fewer references to the loss, harm, and unfairness that victimizers had created. BD children were also more likely to attribute prosocial actors' emotions to the harm, loss, and unfairness that had been avoided, and to provide fewer references to the beneficial outcomes created for recipients. Overall, BD children were also more likely than typical children to select sadness as an emotional outcome. Discussion focused on the potential role of atypical emotional expectancies in perpetuating BD children's maladaptive patterns of socio-moral behaviour.
Article
Fifty-five 4-year-old children took part in a study focused on children's accounts of the situations that caused happiness, anger, sadness and fear in themselves, their friends, and their mothers. Themes, agents, and adequacy of accounts were studied at two time points. Interpersonal causes of anger and happiness were cited by many children; confusion about causes of anger and sadness was not evident, although the notion of loss and controllability as factors distinguishing causes of anger versus sadness found some support. Accounts for self, friend, and mother differed considerably, suggesting emotion understanding could usefully be considered in relation to specific relationships. Analysis of individual differences showed that children who scored high on deception, emotion understanding, and false belief tasks at 47 months gave more adequate and differentiated accounts of mothers' and friends' emotions seven months later. Implications for our views of children's close relationships are discussed.
Article
Social interaction was observed during social pretend play and nonpretend activities to determine whether positive and mature social behaviors were differentially associated with the pretend context. A within-subjects design and a semistructured play setting were used to control for individual differences, child and environmental effects. Thirty-seven 4- and 5-year-old children were observed in groups of four for 47.5 minutes, in a series of play sessions. Their interactions within social pretend play and social nonpretend activities were observed and compared. The results indicated that during pretend play, children's social interactions were more enjoyable, lasted longer, involved larger groups, and showed more play involvement and greater reciprocity. The results substantiate prior theoretical and empirical work which high- lights the educational significance of social pretend play in early childhoood. Social pretend play appears to provide a contextual framework within which mature social interaction can occur and social competencies may be acquired.
Article
This study had two goals. The first was to provide descriptive data on the nature of individual differences in young children’s close friendships, and the second, to examine the relations between these individual differences and children’s earlier understanding of others’ emotions and mental states, and their later appreciation of ambivalent or mixed emotions. A total of 41 children participating in a longitudinal study from 33 months to 6-7 years were studied with their close friends as 6-year-olds, with a combination of observations and standard sociocognitive assessments. The results showed that different aspects of friendship interactions, such as co-ordination of play and amity, were neither closely related nor linked to power assertion. Early differences in the assessment of social understanding were associated with later differences in pretend play with the friend, and friendship interactions at 6 years were linked to later appreciation of mixed emotions. The two-way process of influence linking individual development and friendship quality is discussed.
Article
In three experiments, children aged 3 to 7 years were tested for their understanding of the impact of beliefs and desires on emotion. Children watched while animal characters were offered various types of container and then predicted their emotional reaction. In Experiment 1, the children (but not the characters) knew that the desirable contents of each container had been removed. The majority of 6-year-olds and a minority of 4-year-olds understood that the characters would be happy with the gift, given their mistaken belief about its contents. In Experiment 2, characters were given containers apparently containing an object they wanted but really containing an object they did not want, or vice versa. Predictions of emotion based on both the desire and the mistaken belief of the characters increased with age. In Experiment 3, characters were given closed containers that might or might not contain an item they wanted. Both 3-and 5-year-olds grasped that the characters' emotional reaction would depend on both their (unconfirmed) beliefs and desires about its content.The experiments show that preschool children deploy a theory-like conception of mind in predicting emotional reactions. They understand that the emotional impact of a situation depends not on its objective features but on the beliefs and desires that are brought to it.
Article
Fifty preschool children (aged 3.3–4.6 yrs) took part in an investigation of the relations between children's executive function performance, their understanding of mind and their language skills. The study demonstrates the feasibility of testing rudimentary executive function skills among preschoolers, using an original battery of tasks. The results were consistent with those from studies of older children, in that three aspects of executive function were distinguished: working memory, attentional flexibility and inhibitory control. In addition, specific links were found between executive function and theory-of-mind performance, even when age and both verbal and non-verbal ability were taken into account. In particular, children's deceptive abilities were closely related to success on tests of inhibitory control. The implications of these results for the understanding of deceit are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
How do people make friends? And what are the developmental changes in their strategies? John Gottman, Jeffrey Parker, and their collaborators have spent thirteen years studying the conversations of children from three to seventeen as well as those of college roommates and friends helping couples cope with divorce. This book describes their approach and their findings, and speculates about the implications for a new theory of social and emotional development. The authors succinctly review the literature on the role of friendship in people's lives. They also thoughtfully delineate and clarify a number of methodological issues: naturalistic sampling, reliable and valid observational coding, sequential analysis, first versus second order change, valid laboratory analogues, quantitative sociolinguistic techniques, and clinical applications. The notion of a support network is given an observational basis. A wide audience of developmental and social psychologists, educational researchers, sociolinguistics, and many others interested in patterns of interaction and emotion, will find "Conversations of Friends" rich food for thought. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Preschool children's ability to distinguish between pretense and reality was examined in 2 studies that adopted a modified version of the design used by P. L. Harris, E. Brown, M. Marriott, S. Whittall, and S. Harmer (1991) in which a pretend creature is assumed to hide inside a box. In Study 1, 19 4-year-olds participated in test conditions that closely followed Harris et al.'s procedures. In Study 2, 75 3- and 4-year-olds were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 emotionally colored pretense play scenarios that included 4 test conditions: an imaginary creature, invented by the adult or the child, whose affective value was either positive or negative. The results of both studies do not support Harris et al.'s interpretation of their data in terms of a breakdown of the distinction between pretense and reality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
in this chapter we explore friendship between young children, paying particular attention to differences in same- and cross-sex relationships (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Exp 1 demonstrated that autistic Ss continue to fail a task originally designed as one of strategic deception when there is no opponent present: They perseveratively indicate the target object. The authors argue that this behavior is better explained in terms of failing to disengage from an object than in terms of a theory-of-mind deficit. To ensure that their difficulties were not due to failure to construe the task in a competitive manner, the authors ran a 2nd study, on detour reaching. Compared with control Ss, the autistic Ss had great difficulty with the task. Children's difficulties with these 2 tasks are discussed in light of recent evidence that autism is associated with failing executive tasks, and it is argued that viewing the syndrome as an executive deficit has clear advantages. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
explore these four aspects of discourse between parents and young children about the social world: prescriptions, feeling state talk, joint fantasies, and joint narratives about the self for the first three we draw on data from two longitudinal studies of young children at home with their mothers and siblings: 50 families in Centre County Pennsylvania and 43 families in Cambridge, in England focus of each study was on the second-born child: we were interested in the contribution of older siblings, as well as parents, to the development of social understanding in early childhood [through conversation] focus of this paper will be on comparisons between the Pennsylvanian and Cambridge samples when the children were 33-39 months, and 36 months old, respectively (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This article reviews evidence from neuropsychological tests that brain dysfunction is a correlate of conduct disorder. Most studies report consistent findings of differential neuropsychological deficits for antisocial samples in verbal and “executive” functions. Neuropsychological measures are related to some of the best indicators of poor outcome for children with conduct symptoms, such as early onset, stability across time, hyperactive symptoms, and aggressiveness. Neuropsychological tests statistically predict variance in antisocial behavior independently of appropriate control variables. This article argues that neuropsychological variables warrant further study as possible causal factors for conduct disorder and presents one developmental perspective on how neuropsychological problems might contribute risk for conduct disorder.
Article
Children's ability to discriminate events that could happen in real life from fantasy events was examined by asking 62 preschool children if events depicted in illustrations from storybooks could happen in real life. For half the children, the pictures showed emotionally neutral events and for the other half, the pictures showed emotionally charged events. The older children (mean age = 5:0), but not the younger children (mean age = 3: 10), were able to distinguish fantasy events from real events. Children in the emotion condition tended to report that the events (both fantasy and real) could not happen in real life. The younger children were as likely to report that a fantasy event could happen in real life as to report that it could happen in a dream.
Article
We examined the influences of developing gender segregation on children's friendship maintenance in a longitudinal sample of 40 (17 girls) children who began their peer group experiences as infants. Friendships were behaviorally identified and social interaction was observed and rated six times between average age 16.3 months and average age 49.1 months. The proportion of cross-gender friendships increased with age only when children formed friendships outside of the core group of peers with whom they had begun infant care. Girl-girl and cross-gender friendships were more likely to be maintained than boy-boy friendships. Cross-gender friends tended to be similar in gregariousness in both toddler and preschool periods, similar in hostile aggression as toddlers, and similar in withdrawn behavior as preschoolers. Same-gender friends were not similar in social interaction style. Social skill similarity was generally more important as a basis for friendship in the toddler periods than in the preschool periods. However, cross-gender friends tended to be similar in social skills throughout both the toddler and preschool periods.
Article
Disruptive children have long been thought to show hedonistic rather than empathic attitudes to moral dilemmas, but accounts of what underlies this stance vary in different theoretical perspectives. Candidate factors include: general problems in verbal reasoning, specific delays in social understanding, reduced affective responsiveness and control, and negative parental influences. The present study is novel in examining each of these factors in a preschool-aged sample of disruptive children. In addition, interview assessments of moral awareness were compared with real-life observations of peer interactions to examine the ecological validity of such tasks. The study is also unusual in adopting a longitudinal design: the stability of group differences in moral awareness and its correlates was examined across a 2-year period spanning the transition to school. At age 4, 40 hard-to-manage children and their typically developing peers received a moral judgments and justifications interview and were filmed playing with a friend (Slomkowski & Killen, 1992). At age 6, the two groups completed a moral-stories task (Arsenio & Fleiss, 1996). Significant group differences were found at both time points; these differences showed stable relations with each of the correlates above, although the relation between interview measures of moral awareness and real-life behaviour was rather more complex. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that disruptive children show early and multi-faceted problems in socio-moral reasoning, that are associated with difficulties in their family and peer relationships.
Article
Links between individual differences in 4-year-olds’ social understanding, language abilities, temperament, behavioral adjustment and family background and the quality of their interaction with a close friend were investigated. 64 pairs of friends were filmed playing together on two occasions, and each child tested on a battery of assessments of theory of mind, emotion understanding and language. Teachers and mothers reported on children’s adjustment and temperament respectively. There were marked differences in children’s interactions with their friends; the sociocognitive abilities and behavioral characteristics of both child and friend contributed significantly to cooperative shared pretend, to low frequency of conflict and to successful communication between friends; behavioral adjustment and family background also contributed independently to friendship quality. The similarity between friends in behavioral adjustment and sociolinguistic skills was notable.
Article
Fifty preschoolers (mean age = 47 months; SD = 5 months) were recruited from local inner-city nurseries to take part in a study of early friendships and the development of social understanding. Friendship pairs (10 boy-boy pairs; 10 girl-girl pairs and 5 boy-girl pairs) were filmed playing together for 20 minutes in a quiet room supplied with toys and dressing-up materials. The videos were then transcribed and coded for mental-state talk and pretend play. The children were also given a battery of tests tapping theory-of-mind skills and verbal ability. The results indicated a strong association between children's engagement in pretend play, and the frequency and nature of mental-state talk. This association is discussed in relation to (1) effects of context, (2) individual differences in children's understanding of mind and verbal ability, and (3) the social nature of pretend play.
Article
Bad guys are not allowed to have birthdays, pick blueberries, or disturb the baby. So say the four-year-olds who announce life's risks and dangers as they play out the school year in Vivian Paley's classroom. Their play is filled with warnings. They invent chaos in order to show that everything is under control. They portray fear to prove that it can be conquered. No theme is too large or too small for their intense scrutiny. Fantasy play is their ever dependable pathway to knowledge and certainty. " It . . . takes a special teacher to value the young child's communications sufficiently, enter into a meaningful dialogue with the youngster, and thereby stimulate more productivity without overwhelming the child with her own ideas. Vivian Paley is such a teacher."—Maria W. Piers, in the American Journal of Education "[Mrs. Paley's books] should be required reading wherever children are growing. Mrs. Paley does not presume to understand preschool children, or to theorize. Her strength lies equally in knowing that she does not know and in trying to learn. When she cannot help children—because she can neither anticipate nor follow their thinking—she strives not to hinder them. She avoids the arrogance of adult to small child; of teacher to student; or writer to reader."—Penelope Leach, author of Your Baby & Child in the New York Times Book Review "[Paley's] stories and interpretation argue for a new type of early childhood education . . . a form of teaching that builds upon the considerable knowledge children already have and grapple with daily in fantasy play."—Alex Raskin, Los Angeles Times Book Review "Through the 'intuitive language' of fantasy play, Paley believes, children express their deepest concerns. They act out different roles and invent imaginative scenarios to better understand the real world. Fantasy play helps them cope with uncomfortable feelings. . . . In fantasy, any device may be used to draw safe boundaries."—Ruth J. Moss, Psychology Today
Article
"No adult can escape the adult perspective; but simply recognizing its inevitable limitations in a children's world enables a few gifted educators to accept the existence and vilify of whole kindergartens full of different perspectives. One such person is Vivian Gussin Paley. . . . Her books. . .should be required reading wherever children are growing."—New York Times Book Review "With a delightful, almost magical touch, Paley shares her observations and insights about three-year-olds. The use of a tape recorder in the classroom gives her a second chance to hear students' thoughts from the doll corner to the playground, and to reflect on the ways in which young children make sense of the experience of school. . . . Paley lets the children speak for themselves, and through their words we reenter the world of the child in all its fantasy and inventiveness."—Harvard Educational Review "Paley's vivid and accurate descriptions depict both spontaneous and recurring incidents and outline increasingly complex interactions among the children. Included in the narrative are questions or ideas to challenge the reader to gain more insight and understanding into the motives and conceptualizations of Mollie and other children."—Karen L. Peterson, Young Children
Article
We investigated autistic, mentally retarded, and normal children's ability to deceive or obstruct an opponent. When required to tell a lie (saying that a box was locked) autistic children performed significantly worse than their controls, taking into account mental age. However, they readily prevented a competitor from gaining a reward by physical manipulation (locking a box). Their success on sabotage demonstrated that their failure on deception was not due to an inability to understand the task. Performance on deception was predicted by performance on a false belief attribution task. The present findings confirm that autistic children have a specific deficit in understanding and manipulating beliefs.
Article
The purpose of this study was to explore patterns of parent and child emotional expressiveness within the family context, to examine links between these patterns and children's peer relations, and to examine whether these links might be mediated by children's understanding of emotions. Subjects were 61 kindergarten and first-grade white, middle-class children and their parents. Parent and child expressiveness were assessed in a laboratory ring-toss game designed to elicit a range of emotional responses. Parent expressiveness in the home was also assessed with Halberstadt's Family Expressiveness Questionnaire. The questionnaire, completed by both mother and father, assesses a range of emotions in a variety of settings typical of many families, and consists of items tapping both positive and negative expressiveness. Children were interviewed about their understanding of emotions across a broad range of areas. Results indicated that maternal expressiveness (home) and paternal expressiveness (home and laboratory) but not children's expressiveness with parents were associated with children's peer relations. Although children's understanding of emotions was generally not associated with family expressiveness, understanding predicted children's peer relations. In addition, children's understanding influenced the links between maternal expressiveness in the home and peer relations and between paternal expressiveness in the laboratory and peer relations. This pattern of results underscores the importance of the emotional climate of the family for the development of children's social relations with peers.
Article
Hard-to-manage preschoolers and controls, studied initially at age 3 and followed up at school entry, were followed up again at age 9. Maternal interviews indicated that 67% of the hard-to-manage preschoolers who showed clinically significant problems at age 6 met DSM-III criteria for an externalizing disorder at age 9. Maternal and teacher ratings confirmed the diagnostic data. Hard-to-manage youngsters who had improved by age 6 did not differ from comparison children on maternal or teacher reports. Regression analyses indicated that earlier child behavior, maternal behavior, symptom ratings, and ongoing family stress predicted current symptoms of disorder.
Article
When and how children understand beliefs and desires is central to whether they are ever childhood realists and when they evidence a theory of mind. Adults typically construe human action as resulting from an actor's beliefs and desires, a mentalistic interpretation that represents a common and fundamental form of psychological explanation. We investigated children's ability to do likewise. In Experiment 1, 60 subjects were asked to explain why story characters performed simple actions, such as looking under a piano for a kitten. Both preschoolers and adults gave predominantly psychological explanations, attributing the actions to the actor's beliefs and desires. Even 3-year-olds attributed actions to beliefs and false beliefs, demonstrating an understanding of belief not evident in previous research. In Experiment 2, 24 3-year-olds were tested further on their understanding of false belief. They were given both false belief prediction and explanation tasks. Children performed well on explanation taks, attributing an anomalous action to the actor's false belief, even when they failed to predict correctly what action would follow from a false belief. We concluded that 3-year-olds and adults share a fundamentally similar construal of human action in terms of beliefs and desires, even false beliefs.
Article
50 33-month-old children were observed at home with their siblings and mothers. Observational measures of pretend play, observer ratings of the child's, mother's, and sibling's behavior, and measures of family discourse about feelings were collected. At 40 months each child was assessed on Bartsch and Wellman's false beliefs task and Denham's affective perspective taking task. Results revealed individual differences in the amount and sophistication of young children's social pretend play and suggested that these individual differences are related to experiences in the relationships that young children have with their mothers and siblings. Results also indicated that early social pretend play was significantly related to the child's developing understanding of other people's feelings and beliefs. The data are interpreted as providing support for the notion that early experience in social pretense is associated with children's mastery of the relation between mental life and real life. The importance of considering the relationship context of social pretense is also discussed.
Article
Research on the prevalence, course, and correlates of behavior problems in preschool children was examined. Prospective epidemiological studies and follow-up studies of clinical/high risk samples indicate that serious externalizing problems identified early often persist. Negative, inconsistent parental behavior and high levels of family adversity are associated with the emergence of problems in early childhood and predict their persistence to school age. Studies are examined from a developmental perspective and integrated with research on optimal parent-child relationships. The severity of initial problems and family context are related to different developmental outcomes.
Article
Considerable evidence tells us that ¿being liked¿ and ¿being disliked¿ are related to social competence, but evidence concerning friendships and their developmental significance is relatively weak. The argument is advanced that the developmental implications of these relationships cannot be specified without distinguishing between having friends, the identity of one's friends, and friendship quality. Most commonly, children are differentiated from one another in diagnosis and research only according to whether or not they have friends. The evidence shows that friends provide one another with cognitive and social scaffolding that differs from what nonfriends provide, and having friends supports good outcomes across normative transitions. But predicting developmental outcome also requires knowing about the behavioral characteristics and attitudes of children's friends as well as qualitative features of these relationships.
Article
Ninety-two preschoolers (46 Anglo- and 46 Korean-American) were observed during free play activities and videotaped in an experimental toy play setting. Cultural differences were examined in the frequency of social pretend play, communicative strategies, and pretend play themes. Anglo-American children engaged in more pretend play during free play activities than Korean-American children. In the experimental setting, there were no cultural differences in the frequency of pretend play; however, there were significant differences in children's communicative strategies and in their play themes. Korean-American children's play included everyday activity and family role themes, whereas Anglo-American children enacted danger in the environment and fantastic themes. Anglo-American children described their own actions, rejected their partners' suggestions, and used directives, whereas Korean-American children described their partners' actions and used tag questions, semantic ties, statements of agreement, and polite requests. The findings suggest that play is a common activity for most children. However, the thematic content and the communicative strategies used to structure and maintain pretend play are influenced by culture.
Article
The relation between early fantasy/pretense and children's knowledge about mental life was examined in a study of 152 3- and 4-year-old boys and girls. Children were interviewed about their fantasy lives (e.g., imaginary companions, impersonation of imagined characters) and were given tasks assessing their level of pretend play and verbal intelligence. In a second session 1 week later, children were given a series of theory of mind tasks, including measures of appearance-reality, false belief, representational change, and perspective taking. The theory of mind tasks were significantly intercorrelated with the effects of verbal intelligence and age statistically controlled. Individual differences in fantasy/pretense were assessed by (1) identifying children who created imaginary characters, and (2) extracting factor scores from a combination of interview and behavioral measures. Each of these fantasy assessments was significantly related to the theory of mind performance of the 4-year-old children, independent of verbal intelligence.
Article
A novel behavioural screening questionnaire, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), was administered along with Rutter questionnaires to parents and teachers of 403 children drawn from dental and psychiatric clinics. Scores derived from the SDQ and Rutter questionnaires were highly correlated; parent-teacher correlations for the two sets of measures were comparable or favoured the SDQ. The two sets of measures did not differ in their ability to discriminate between psychiatric and dental clinic attenders. These preliminary findings suggest that the SDQ functions as well as the Rutter questionnaires while offering the following additional advantages: a focus on strengths as well as difficulties; better coverage of inattention, peer relationships, and prosocial behaviour; a shorter format; and a single form suitable for both parents and teachers, perhaps thereby increasing parent-teacher correlations.
Article
Young children are often viewed as being unable to differentiate fantasy from reality. This article reviews research on both children's and adults' beliefs about fantasy as well as their tendency to engage in what is thought of as "magical thinking." It is suggested that children are not fundamentally different from adults in their ability to distinguish fantasy from reality: Both children and adults entertain fantastical beliefs and also engage in magical thinking. Suggestions are offered as to how children and adults may differ in this domain, and an agenda for future research is offered.
Article
It is widely recognised that impaired social relations are characteristic of school-aged children with behavioural disorders, and predict a poor long-term outcome (Parker & Asher, 1987). However, little is known about the early antecedents of social impairment in behaviourally disturbed children. The aim of the present study was to explore three areas of potential dysfunction in younger children: theory of mind, emotion understanding, and executive function. Forty preschoolers, rated by their parents on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1994) as "hard to manage" (H2M) were compared with a control group on a set of: (1) theory of mind tasks (including an emotion prediction task involving either a nice or a nasty surprise); (2) emotion understanding stories (that required affective perspective-taking skills as well as situational understanding); and (3) simple executive function tasks (adapted for preschoolers, and tapping inhibitory control, attentional set-shifting, and working memory). Small but significant group differences were found in all three cognitive domains. In particular, hard-to-manage preschoolers showed poor understanding of emotion and executive control, poor prediction or recall of a false belief, and better understanding of the belief-dependency of emotion in the context of a trick than a treat. Moreover, executive function was associated with performance on the theory of mind tasks for the hard-to-manage group alone, suggesting both direct and indirect links between executive dysfunction and disruptive behaviour.
Article
Individual differences in young children's social cognition were examined in 128 urban preschoolers from a wide range of backgrounds. comprehensive assessments were made of children's false-belief understanding, emotion understanding, language abilities, and family background information was collected via parent interview. Individual differences in children's understanding of false-belief and emotion were associated with differences in language ability and with certain aspects of family background, in particular, parental occupational class and mothers' education. The number of siblings that children had did not relate to their social cognition. Individual differences in false-belief and emotion understanding were correlated, but these domains did not contribute to each other independently of age, language ability, and family background. In fact, variance in family background only contributed uniquely to false-belief understanding. The results suggest that family background has a significant impact on the development of theory of mind. The findings also suggest that understanding of false-belief and understanding of emotion may be distinct aspects of social cognition in young children.
Article
This study is the first to provide direct observations of dyadic interactions with friends for preschool-aged disruptive children. Forty preschoolers (mean age 52 months) rated by parents as "hard to manage" on Goodman's (1997) Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), as well as 40 control children (matched for age, gender, school, and ethnic background) were filmed for 20 minutes on two occasions playing with a teacher-nominated best friend. The videos were transcribed and coded for antisocial behaviour, displays of negative emotion, and empathic/prosocial responses to friend's distress. Individual differences in social behaviour were considered in relation to false-belief performance, affective perspective taking, and executive function skills (planning and inhibitory control). Compared with controls, the hard-to-manage group showed significantly higher rates of both antisocial behaviour and displays of negative emotion, as well as significantly lower rates of emphatic/prosocial responses. Across both groups combined, frequencies of angry and antisocial behaviours were related to poor executive control. Mental-state understanding was not significantly correlated with antisocial behaviour, emotion display, or empathy, suggesting that the interpersonal problems of young disruptive children owe more to failure of behavioural regulation than to problems in social understanding per se. However, given the relatively low power of the study, these findings require replication with a larger sample.
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