Article

Relational aggression and prosocial behaviours in Australian preschool children

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Abstract

Relational aggression is a subtle form of aggressive behaviour that uses dyadic relationships and manipulation as a vehicle of harm. Little is known about relational aggression in preschool-age children in cultural contexts outside the United States. This study examined relationally aggressive behaviours and prosocial behaviours in Australian preschoolers. The sample consisted of 60 children aged from three to five years (35 boys, 25 girls). Teachers rated children’s social behaviour in terms of relational aggression and prosocial behaviour. Results indicated that teachers report significantly more relational aggression in the oldest age group of children (aged > 4.5 years). Relational aggression was related to lower scores of prosocial behaviour (p < 0.05). No significant differences were found between boys’ and girls’ engagement in relational aggression and prosocial behaviours. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of recognising the prevalence of these aggressive behaviours in Australian preschool-age children and the need for immediate intervention.

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... Some research has found young boys to be more physically aggressive and young girls more prosocially behaved (Baillargeon et al., 2007;Poland et al., 2015;Maguire et al., 2016), with girls showing higher levels of relational aggression (Crick et al., 1997(Crick et al., , 1999Poland et al., 2015). Conversely, other research has not found gender differences either in relational aggression (Swit and McMaugh, 2012) or in prosocial behaviour (Swit and McMaugh, 2012;Bouchard et al., 2015). Interestingly, research has found that the gender differences in physical aggression may be more pronounced, with boys evidencing higher reactive physical aggression than girls, but not proactive aggression (Poland et al., 2015). ...
... Some research has found young boys to be more physically aggressive and young girls more prosocially behaved (Baillargeon et al., 2007;Poland et al., 2015;Maguire et al., 2016), with girls showing higher levels of relational aggression (Crick et al., 1997(Crick et al., , 1999Poland et al., 2015). Conversely, other research has not found gender differences either in relational aggression (Swit and McMaugh, 2012) or in prosocial behaviour (Swit and McMaugh, 2012;Bouchard et al., 2015). Interestingly, research has found that the gender differences in physical aggression may be more pronounced, with boys evidencing higher reactive physical aggression than girls, but not proactive aggression (Poland et al., 2015). ...
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Through the lens of resource control and resource holding potential theory, an investigation was conducted into the effect of resource opponent characteristics on frequency of aggressive and prosocial resource control strategy selection in 4-5-year-old boys and girls. Children (N = 92; 4-5 years old) were asked how they would respond to 12 hypothetical resource holding potential (RHP) vignettes, in which resource control opponents varied in 'toughness,' 'physical size' and whether or not they were accompanied by friends. Girls gave significantly more prosocial responses to the vignettes than boys, and boys provided significantly more coercive responses compared to girls with some differences with age. Prosocial vignette responses were given significantly more frequently when the opponent was 'not very tough' as opposed to when they were 'very tough.' Findings suggest that both boys and girls utilise some form of discrimination when deciding on how to respond to resource competition scenarios and that there are some age and gender differences in their reported response strategies. Findings are discussed in terms of resource control and RHP theory. Future study should investigate whether such differences translate into real-world observed resource control behaviour.
... Physical aggression, on the other hand, is defined as the intent to hurt, harm, or injure another person using physical force (Ostrov 2006). While physical aggression in early childhood is well researched (Côté et al. 2007), it is also known that children as young as 3 years engage in relational aggression (Ostrov et al. 2013;Swit and McMaugh 2012) and that the use of relational aggression increases with age . However, research about the emergence of these behaviors in early childhood is still understudied. ...
... No gender differences in aggressive and non-aggressive children's beliefs about the acceptability of different forms of aggression were found in this study. This finding contrasts with previous studies identifying gender differences in young children's beliefs and use of relational and physical forms of aggression during early childhood (Goldstein et al. 2002;Putallaz et al. 2007), but accords with more recent research with Australian children that has identified no differences in boys' and girls' use of different forms of aggression (Hayward and Fletcher 2003;Owens 1996;Swit and McMaugh 2012). Thus, it is important for educators to recognize that relational aggression may not be associated with the robust gender differences that are evident for physical aggression. ...
Article
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This research examined differences in beliefs about the acceptability of aggression and behavioral responses to aggression of preschool-aged children. Two groups, identified from teacher ratings, participated in the research. One group of children exhibited relationally aggressive behaviors, and a comparison group was identified with non-aggressive behaviors. Children’s social skills were assessed through observations. Beliefs about the acceptability of aggression and behavioral responses to aggression were assessed using four vignettes presented with toy figures. Children were encouraged to use the figurines to verbalize or enact responses. Children’s responses were analyzed and could be categorized as problem-solving or aggressive responses. There were no significant differences between groups on beliefs about the acceptability of aggression. However, younger children held more accepting beliefs about aggression. The methodological technique identified that relationally aggressive children used more problem-solving and conflict resolution strategies compared to children in the comparison group. These findings have important implications for educators in recognizing that not all forms of aggression are associated with fewer prosocial problem-solving skills. Methodological techniques employed in this study are recommended for use in the delivery of intervention programs aimed at reducing aggressive behaviors of preschool children.
... Aggression is often characterised into two categories: relational aggression, which includes behaviours that hurt another person through relationships, such as feelings of not being accepted, and group exclusion; and physical aggression, which includes behaviours that hurt another person using physical means, such as kicking, punching, and pushing (Murray-Close & Ostrov, 2009). Swit and McMaugh (2012) noted that when relational aggression is used repeatedly to target a person this can be defined as bullying. Bullying or the repeated use of relational aggression was not a focus in the present study. ...
... Bouchard and colleagues (2015) argued that the findings might suggest that teachers have gender biased ideas about girls being more prosocial than boys, which may inadvertently affect their teaching practice. In contrast, Swit and McMaugh (2012) identified no significant differences in teacher ratings of prosocial behaviours or relational aggression in boys and girls in their study of 60 children and their teachers. However, they did find that one in five preschool-age children in their study engaged in high levels of relational aggression, and that these children were more likely to have low levels of prosocial behaviours. ...
Article
The article will explore early childhood teachers’ perspectives about social behaviours and gender in young children, in particular the way in which children’s gender related to teachers’ reports of the prevalence and interpretations of children’s social behaviours. The specific social behaviours examined were prosocial behaviours, social leadership, social dominance, and aggressive behaviours. This study used a mixed methods online survey to gather teachers’ perspectives. Findings showed that teachers reported little difference in the display of social behaviours across boys and girls. Moreover, teachers’ views of different social behaviours were similar across boys and girls; however, findings suggested that gender might play a limited, but potentially influential role in teachers’ perspectives of prosocial and aggressive behaviours in girls and boys. Findings from the present study are discussed in connection with previous research.
... Such experiences are likely to manifest themselves in prosocial behaviors (e.g., helping, collaborating, sharing, and empathizing with peers), or aggressive behaviors (e.g., hitting, bullying, manipulating, rejecting, teasing, and excluding their peers). The latter four examples are indicative of relational aggression, which involves the deliberate, manipulative behaviors that children engage in (Hart and Ostrov, 2013;Swit and McNaugh, 2012;Ostrov and Keating, 2004). In a recent study, Renouf et al. (2010) found a negative correlation between preschoolers' relational aggression and prosocial behavior. ...
... The total mean scores reported in this study for the prosocial behavior and social competence scale as well as each of the three subscales (i.e., teacher preferred behavior; peer preferred behavior; school adjustment) was found to be nearly identical across both cohorts of preschoolers enrolled in the KG 1 and KG2 levels. This finding seems to be inconsistent with results of other research studies which revealed that children in the second preschool level displayed more prosocial behaviors than their younger peers (e.g., Swit and McNaugh, 2012). This similarity in children's frequency of prosocial behavior and social competence noted in the current study must discussed in the context of the local, socialization practices that children are exposed to at home and at school. ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to assess the occurrences of prosocial behaviors in preschool children according to the perceptions of their teachers, examine if variations of prosocial behaviors exist among boys and girls, and analyze whether variations of prosocial behaviors exist among children. Independent schools teachers rated their perceptions of prosocial behavior of each child in their classes. Findings revealed that prosocial behaviors occurred at moderate levels irrespective of gender and school level. Girls displayed relatively more prosocial behaviors than their boy counterparts. Implications are discussed in the context of curriculum practices, pre-service teacher training, and professional development.
... Some studies (Bonica, Arnold, Fisher, Zeljo, & Yershova, 2003;Gomez-Garibello & Talwar, 2015;Renouf et al., 2010) reported that girls appear to exhibit more relational aggression, while there is also reported evidence of more relational aggression among boys (Tomada & Schneider, 1997). Some studies have failed to find a significant difference between boys and girls in the expression of relational aggression (Crick, Casas, & Mosher, 1997;Swit & McMaugh, 2012). A possible explanation for a lack of consistency between studies may be related to the role of language and differences in the language ability of the children included in these studies. ...
Article
Objective: Research has highlighted the role of gender in the expression of aggression. While boys display higher levels of physical aggression, girls appear to display higher levels of relational aggression. It is proposed that the expression of relational aggression may be associated, at least in part, with a child's development of language skills. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of expressive and receptive language in the expression of relational aggression. Method: A sample of 106 four to six-year-old Iranian children completed a test of language ability while their teachers completed a rating scale measuring the children's expression of relational aggression. Results: Results supported the hypothesis that language skills play an important role in the development of relational aggression. Teachers reported that girls displayed significantly more relational aggression that boys. Girls were also found to have higher receptive and expressive language than boys. Finally, a mediation analysis found that language skills mediated the relationship between gender and relational aggression. Conclusions: The results suggest that gender differences in the expression of relational aggression may be related to gender differences in the development of language as opposed to gender per se.
... In early childhood literature there are a variety of terms that reflect negative connotations of exclusionary behaviour; terminology such as social rejection (Ebbeck & Reus, 2005) and bullying or relational aggression (Swit & McMaugh, 2012) express conflict and tension; they signify a child being excluded from the social milieu of the classroom or playground. Hodges (1998, p. 273) suggests the term 'peripheral non-participation', whereas Bang (2009) argues children join activities in different ways, some showing resistance and others openly engaged. ...
Article
Expatriate children potentially experience multiple international transitions in their early childhood years as their parents move countries to fulfill the demands of employment with multinational companies. However, we know very little about the social interaction that occurs as young expatriate children enter into international schools. The focus here is the processes of a mid-semester transition, which resulted in both inclusion and exclusion practices. These processes are explored using Vygotsky’s (1994) cultural–historical system of concepts, specifically perezhivanie (the unity of personal and environmental characteristics) and the social situation of development. An analysis of different children’s perspectives is presented. In the larger study, 90 hours of data was gathered through video observation, still images, semi-structured interviews and field notes from five families. However, this study presents findings from the interaction of the three-year-old participants. Findings indicate that inclusion and exclusion become part of the values and norms of the classroom due to the demands of the curriculum and the way assessments are organised; this in turn affects the motives of children and their social interaction. The second finding explores the way very young children use complex interaction styles to negotiate forms of inclusion and exclusion.
... In early childhood literature there are a variety of terms that reflect negative connotations of exclusionary behaviour; terminology such as social rejection (Ebbeck & Reus, 2005) and bullying or relational aggression (Swit & McMaugh, 2012) express conflict and tension; they signify a child being excluded from the social milieu of the classroom or playground. Hodges (1998, p. 273) suggests the term 'peripheral non-participation', whereas Bang (2009) argues children join activities in different ways, some showing resistance and others openly engaged. ...
Article
Expatriate children potentially experience multiple international transitions in their early childhood years as their parents move countries to fulfill the demands of employment with multinational companies. However, we know very little about the social interaction that occurs as young expatriate children enter into international schools. The focus here is the processes of a mid-semester transition, which resulted in both inclusion and exclusion practices. These processes are explored using Vygotsky’s (1994) cultural–historical system of concepts, specifically perezhivanie (the unity of personal and environmental characteristics) and the social situation of development. An analysis of different children’s perspectives is presented. In the larger study, 90 hours of data was gathered through video observation, still images, semi-structured interviews and field notes from five families. However, this study presents findings from the interaction of the three-year-old participants. Findings indicate that inclusion and exclusion become part of the values and norms of the classroom due to the demands of the curriculum and the way assessments are organised; this in turn affects the motives of children and their social interaction. The second finding explores the way very young children use complex interaction styles to negotiate forms of inclusion and exclusion.
... La primera conclusión refiere que el entrenamiento a padres en crianza positiva permite que los niños aprendan conductas prosociales (seguimiento de instrucciones, comunicación asertiva, ayudar y compartir), reduciendo la desobediencia, la agresión y los berrinches, comprobándose que cuando hay un incremento del comportamiento prosocial disminuye el agresivo, tal y como han identificado otros estudios (Swit y McMaugh, 2012;Mendoza et al., 2014;Morales y Vázquez, 2014), lo que se explica a partir de identificar el comportamiento prosocial como una conducta funcionalmente equivalente a las conductas agresivas (Kazdin, 2000), teniendo una explicación más consistente a partir de la Ley de igualación de Herrnstein, a través de la cual se determina que las elecciones se hacen a partir de un arreglo ambiental que dispone de una serie de reforzamientos para el niño que le permitan obtener estos en función de la respuesta que emita, evidenciando que para disminuir una conducta problema se hace necesario hacer arreglos en el ambiente para hacer disponibles reforzamientos a conductas alternativas a la problema (Domjan, 2009). ...
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The study aimed at assessing the effectiveness of a positive child rearing program with parents for reducing bullying and incrementing pro-social behavior of their children. Participants were eight couples and two single parents of 10 children identified as bullies. Half of the parents were assigned to a control group and the other half were trained to identify aggressive and pro-social behaviors of their children, as well as their antecedents and consequences. During eight weekly sessions parents were trained to set limits, reinforce both pro-social behavior and alternative responses to the aggressive ones, to correct, slightly disapprove, punish and extinguish aggressive behavior. Frequency of emission of specific pro-social behaviors (doing homework, helping in domestic chores and picking up toys) and of physical and verbal aggression was registered by parents and teachers during three weeks of base line and during eight weeks of treatment. Results showed a significant reduction of aggressive behavior and an increase of pro-social behavior compared both to base line and to the frequency of the same behaviors by children of the control group. Notably, behavior also changed at school. Results are discussed regarding the usefulness of interventions with parents in reducing bullying behavior by their children in different contexts.
... For example, a typical act of relational aggression in early childhood settings might include the use of threats to the relationship of a peer such as "If you don't let us ride the bike, we won't be your friend." A recent study found approximately one in five preschool age children were identified by their teachers as engaging in high levels of relational aggression (Swit and McMaugh 2012). This is important for two reasons. ...
Article
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Although links have been found between parents’ and teachers’ (caregivers’) attitudes about aggressive behavior, their responses to aggressive behaviour in children, and those children’s own use of aggressive behaviour, most research has focused on primary and secondary school contexts and has examined the influence of parents and teachers separately. The current study explored both parents’ and teachers’ beliefs and intervention strategies for relational and physical aggression in early childhood settings. Teachers (N = 18; Mage = 34.8 years) and parents (N = 68; Mage = 32.2 years) were presented with vignettes portraying relational and physical aggression. Following each vignette, their perceptions of the seriousness of the act, empathy for the victim, likelihood to intervene, and intervention strategies used to respond to each vignette were assessed. Teachers were also interviewed about examples of aggression that have been seen in preschool age children. Results indicated that caregivers viewed relational compared to physical aggression as more normative, and had less empathy for, and were less likely to intervene in instances of relationally aggressive behaviour. They also recommended more passive intervention strategies towards relationally aggressive children and more direct strategies towards physically aggressive children. Interview responses indicated that teachers perceived the primary cause of aggression to be related to developmental characteristics of the child. Implications for how these findings about adult–child interactions impact the development of relational and physical aggression are discussed.
... La primera conclusión refiere que el entrenamiento a padres en crianza positiva permite que los niños aprendan conductas prosociales (seguimiento de instrucciones, comunicación asertiva, ayudar y compartir), reduciendo la desobediencia, la agresión y los berrinches, comprobándose que cuando hay un incremento del comportamiento prosocial disminuye el agresivo, tal y como han identificado otros estudios (Swit y McMaugh, 2012;Mendoza et al., 2014;Morales y Vázquez, 2014), lo que se explica a partir de identificar el comportamiento prosocial como una conducta funcionalmente equivalente a las conductas agresivas (Kazdin, 2000), teniendo una explicación más consistente a partir de la Ley de igualación de Herrnstein, a través de la cual se determina que las elecciones se hacen a partir de un arreglo ambiental que dispone de una serie de reforzamientos para el niño que le permitan obtener estos en función de la respuesta que emita, evidenciando que para disminuir una conducta problema se hace necesario hacer arreglos en el ambiente para hacer disponibles reforzamientos a conductas alternativas a la problema (Domjan, 2009). ...
Article
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Resumen El análisis conductual aplicado a través del entrenamiento a padres y profesores ha demostrado su efectividad para incrementar el comportamiento prosocial en niños que exhiben conductas agresivas; sin embargo, es escaso el trabajo de investigación que implique el efecto aditivo del tratamiento de ambos agentes. El objetivo del estudio fue conocer la efectividad de un programa de entrenamiento a padres y a profesores en 2 condiciones experimentales, para disminuir el comportamiento agresivo e incrementar el prosocial en alumnado de Educación Básica, en un estudio cuasiexperimental con diseño de inversión A-B-A. Participaron 3 docentes, 14 padres de familia y 94 alumnos, identificando a 14 que exhibieron comportamiento agresivo y mostraron déficit en comportamiento prosocial. Los programas de intervención empleados en el estudio se organizaron en 2 condiciones experimentales: la primera incluyó solo el entrenamiento a padres y la segunda incluyó el entrenamiento a padres más el entrenamiento a profesores en técnicas de modificación conductual. Los resultados demostraron que la intervención con 2 agentes de cambio obtuvo un mayor incremento en el comportamiento prosocial y una mayor disminución de comportamiento agresivo en el contexto familiar comparado con el grupo que recibió solo el entrenamiento a padres. También el tratamiento combinado demostró cambios significativos en el comportamiento de los niños en el contexto escolar.
... Positive outcomes include greater academic success (Collie et al., 2018;Gerbino et al., 2018), social competence (Bar-Tal, 1982), and problem-solving skills (Carlo et al., 2012;Eisenberg et al., 2015). Prosocial behaviour is considered a psychosocial asset (Leventhal et al., 2015), that contributes to better quality peer relationships (Caputi et al., 2012), lower reported aggression (Swit, 2012;Obsuth et al., 2015), and favourable subjective well-being (Aknin et al., 2012(Aknin et al., , 2015Proctor and Linley, 2014;Yang et al., 2019). Previous work also suggests that prosocial behaviour was associated with child health-related outcomes and behaviours including fewer externalising and internalising behavioural problems (Flynn et al., 2015;Flouri and Sarmadi, 2016), lower screen time (Healy and Garcia, 2019), and optimal cardiometabolic health (Qureshi et al., 2019). ...
Article
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The plausible role of nearby green space in influencing prosocial behaviour among children and adolescents has been studied recently. However, no review has been conducted of the evidence testing the association between green space and prosocial behaviour. This systematic review addresses this gap among children and adolescents. Within this review, we propose a conceptual framework describing potential pathways linking green space to prosocial behaviour, discuss the direction, magnitude, moderators, and mediators of the association, and develop a narrative synthesis of future study directions. Out of 63 extracted associations from 15 studies, 44 were in the positive or expected direction, of which 18 were reported to be statistically significant (p < 0.05). Overall, the current evidence shows that exposure to green space may potentially increase prosocial behaviour among children and adolescents, with some contingencies (e.g., child's sex and ethnic background). However, the volume and quality of this evidence is not yet sufficient to draw conclusions on causality. Further, heterogeneity in the indicators of green space exposure could lead to mixed findings. In addition, none of the included studies investigated potential mediators. Nevertheless, this review provides preliminary evidence and a basis for further investigation with rigorous study methodology capable of drawing causal inferences and testing potential effect modifiers, linking pathways, and relevant green space measures.
... In their research, experts -researcherswork with hidden and apparent aggression, as well as proactive and reactive aggression. They also mention symbolic aggression, relational aggression and the like [3], [8]. Of these, we will be most interested in physical and relational aggression. ...
Article
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Nowadays, aggression and bullying are serious societal problems present in all types and level of schools. It is an extremely complicated system that can be examined from many different angles. This is a dangerous social-pathological effect where personal freedom is severely restricted, it is degrading human dignity, and often harming the victims' health or property. For these reasons, we decided to focus our attention on the issues of manifestations of aggression and the possibilities of its elimination.
... Contrary to the above risk factors, prosocial behavior acted as a protective factor for both physical and relational aggression. The higher the mothers' reports on their child's prosocial behavior the lower his/her involvement in aggression (Crick et al., 1997;Hay et al., 2010;Swit & McMaugh, 2012). This is in accord with previous studies emphasizing the importance of prosocial behavior for children's social and emotional adjustment (Eisenberg, Eggum, & Di Giunta, 2010;Yagmurlu, 2014). ...
Article
Aggressive behavior in early childhood has been associated with several negative outcomes for children, such as short- and long-term academic, developmental, social, and emotional difficulties. This study used a social-ecological framework to consider the direct, indirect, and interactive effects of both individual and family factors on children’s aggressiveness. Individual factors included impulsivity and peer rejection, while familial factors included maternal support and involvement, and psychological control. In addition, the current study explored the mediating role of maternal psychological control in the association between co-parenting and child aggression, as well as the moderating role of impulsivity on the relationship between maternal psychological control and aggressive behaviors. The cross-sectional study was based on online structured self-report surveys completed anonymously by of 532 Israeli mothers of children aged 3-5 (31.6% Jews and 68.4% Arabs). The results showed that children’s aggression was positively associated with maternal use of psychological control and negatively with co-parenting and prosocial behavior. Psychological control mediated the association between co-parenting and children’s involvement in physical and indirect violence. However, while impulsivity moderated the effect of psychological control on physical aggression, no interaction effects between these factors were found in predicting indirect aggression. Prevention and intervention programs that deal with early childhood aggression should consider focusing on maternal and couple practices as much as on individual characteristics and mechanisms in order to prevent and restrain early childhood violence.
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The main purpose of this study is to identify the predictive power of the following variables for physical and relational aggression level of children: cartoon preferences of children, parental attitudes and teacher–student relationship. Study group consisted of 300 preschool children their mothers and 18 preschool teachers. The results showed a negative correlation between relational aggression and children’s cartoon preferences and teacher–student relationship. There was a positive correlation between physical aggression and authoritarian attitude and a negative correlation between children’s cartoon preferences and their democratic attitudes. Regression analysis showed that 28% of children’s relationally and 18% of their physically aggressive behaviours were predicted by the variables examined in the study. Stepwise regression analysis indicated children’s cartoon preferences predicted 15% of physically and 25% of relationally aggressive behaviours. Mother’s democratic attitude was found to be the second powerful variable (3%) and then came the teacher–student relationship (1%).
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This paper examines whether children and main caregivers of overseas migrant fathers have fewer or more mental health symptoms compared to those of non-migrant fathers. The sample includes 997 households from the 2008 Child Health and Migrant Parents in South-East Asia project. The mental health measurements are the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and the Self-Reporting Questionnaire. Compared to children of non-migrant fathers, those of migrant fathers are more likely to demonstrate conduct problems and hyperactivity/inattention. Factors which appear to impact a caregiver's mental health include the physical health status of children, caregiver's education level and household economic status. To reduce the risk of mental health problems on left-behind children, our findings imply the importance of encouraging and educating left-behind families to monitor the children's psychological well-being, especially those in father-migrant families.
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zet Bu araştırmada, okul öncesi eğitim kurumlarına devam eden üç, dört, beş ve altı yaş grubu çocuklarda görülen fiziksel ve ilişkisel saldırganlık ile ebeveyn tutumları arasındaki ilişkiyi incelenmesi ve saldırganlık davranışlarının bazı değişkenlere göre (cinsiyet, yaş, kardeş sayısı, doğum sırası, okul öncesi eğitim kurumuna devam etme süresi, ailenin gelir düzeyi) farklılaşmanın belirlenmesi amaçlanmıştır. İlişkisel tarama modeli temel alınarak yapılan bu araştırmanın örneklemini 2014-2015 eğitim-öğretim yılında Balıkesir ili Karesi merkez ilçesinde Milli Eğitim Bakanlığına bağlı bağımsız anaokullarındaki 36-72 aylık 300 çocuk ile bu çocukların anne ve babaları (300 anne-300 baba) oluşturmaktadır. Veri toplama aracı olarak, Genel Bilgi Formu, Ebeveyn Tutum Ölçeği ve Okul Öncesi Sosyal Davranış Ölçeği-Öğretmen Formu kullanılmıştır. Araştırma sonucunda, anne ve babanın otoriter tutumu ile fiziksel ve ilişkisel saldırganlık arasında pozitif yönde bir ilişki bulunurken, annenin izin verici tutumu ile fiziksel saldırganlık arasında negatif yönde bir ilişki bulunmuştur. Bunun yanında, cinsiyet ve okul öncesi eğitim kurumuna devam etme süresi değişkenlerinin, fiziksel saldırganlık üzerinde anlamlı bir farklılık yarattığı; ilişkisel saldırganlık üzerinde anlamlı bir farklılık yaratmadığı sonucuna ulaşılmıştır. Anahtar Sözcükler: Fiziksel Saldırganlık, İlişkisel Saldırganlık, Ebeveyn Tutumu. Abstract In this study, it is aimed to determine the correlation between the parents' behavior and relational and physical aggression in children at the age of 3, 4, 5 and 6, and to analyze the differentiation of this aggressive behavior based on certain factors (gender, age, number of siblings, birth order, the amount of time spent in a preschool institution, level of income of the family). The study utilized relational screening model and the sample of the study consists of 300 hundred 36-72 months old children in independent kindergartens affiliated to Ministry of Education, and their 600 parents (300 mothers, 300 fathers) in Balıkesir Karesi district. General Information Form, Parents' Attitude Scale and Preschool Social Behavior Scale-Teacher Form were used as data collection instruments. At the end of the study, a positive 1 Bu çalışma; birinci yazarın, ikinci yazar danışmanlığında hazırladığı yüksek lisans tezinden yararlanılarak hazırlanmıştır. EĞF-15004 nolu bu çalışma Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi Bilimsel Araştırma Projeleri tarafından desteklenmiştir.
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The purposes of this study were (1) to explore the gender differences in children's overt aggression and relational aggression and (2) to investigate the effects of preschool children's gender, temperament, emotional regulation, and maternal parenting stress on overt aggression and relational aggression. The participants were 173 preschool children and their mothers from three day care center and two kindergarten in Seoul and Gyeong-gi province. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test, correlations, and multiple regressions. The results were as follows: (1) There was statistically significant gender difference in preschool children's overt aggression, but there was statistically no significant gender difference in preschool children's relational aggression. Boys displayed more overt aggression than girls. (2) Preschool children's emotional regulation and activity explained children's overt aggression and relational aggression. When preschool children expressed more emotional regulation, they showed less overt aggression and relational aggression. Preschool children, who perceived having more activity from mothers, diaplayed more overt aggression and relational aggression. Gender was found to affect preschool children's overt aggression.
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Little is known about the behavior of preschool children belonging to peer sociometric status groups (popular, average, rejected, neglected, and controversial) in cultural contexts outside North America. This study examined the social interactions of Italian preschoolers. The sample consisted of 266 Italian preschoolers (mean age of 64 months). Physical and relational subtypes of aggression and victimization, as well as sociable behavior, were measured by peer nominations and teacher ratings. Peer nominations of acceptance and rejection (like and dislike nominations) were also collected in order to form the sociometric status groups. Results of confirmatory factor analyses showed that items developed with US preschoolers appeared to work fairly well in identifying behavioral constructs in Italian preschoolers. Findings generally supported previous research with American preschoolers. Sociometrically popular children were highest in sociability, and lowest in physical and relational aggression and victimization. The opposite pattern emerged for rejected status children. Neglected status children were generally not distinguished from average status children. Results also suggested that the enactment of relational aggression promotes greater social impact for some Italian children (controversial children), and this aggression also invites more conflict and victimization. However, the sociability of controversial children appears to buffer them from rejected group status.
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The extent of bullying among Australian school children and attitudes toward victims of bullying were investigated in a survey of Australian school children between the ages of 6 and 16 years (n = 685) and their teachers (n = 32). Approximately 1 child in 10 was subjected to peer group bullying. Boys reported being bullied more often than girls, who tended to be more supportive of victims. With increasing age, there was a slight but significant decline in reported bullying; notably, however, attitudes toward victims became less supportive. Attitudes toward victims were examined in detail by using a reliable and validated 20-item Likert scale. Factor analyses of the children's responses yielded three interpretable factors: a tendency to despise the victims of bullies; general admiration for school bullies; and avowed support for intervention to assist the victim. An understanding of such attitudes is desirable for designing effective intervention programs.
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This research was designed as an initial attempt to assess relational aggression in preschool-age children. Our goal was to develop reliable measures of relational aggression for young children and to use these instruments to address several important issues (e.g., the relation between this form of aggression and social-psychological adjustment). Results provide evidence that relationally aggressive behaviors appear in children's behavioral repertoires at relatively young ages, and that these behaviors can be reliably distinguished from overtly aggressive behaviors in preschool-age children. Further, findings indicate that preschool girls are significantly more relationally aggressive and less overtly aggressive than preschool boys. Finally, results show that relational aggression is significantly related to social-psychological maladjustment (e.g., peer rejection) for both boys and girls.
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In past research, relational and physical forms of peer victimization have been identified that have been shown to be significantly associated with social-psychological maladjustment. These forms of victimization, although studied primarily within the group peer context, also occur within dyadic relationships such as friendships. Gender differences in friend victimization and the association between friend victimization and children's social-psychological adjustment were examined. Results showed that boys were more physically victimized by their friends than were girls. Girls were more relationally than physically victimized by their friends. Friend victimization was related to adjustment difficulties for both boys and girls; however, friend physical victimization was particularly related to boys whereas friend relational victimization was particularly related to girls. The implications of these findings for future research and intervention with victimized children are discussed.
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The present study examined the association between theory of mind and indirect versus physical aggression, as well as the potential moderating role of prosocial behavior in this context. Participants were 399 twins and singletons drawn from two longitudinal studies in Canada. At five years of age, children completed a theory of mind task and a receptive vocabulary task. A year later, teachers evaluated children's indirect and physical aggression and prosocial behavior. Indirect aggression was significantly and positively associated with theory of mind skills, but only in children with average or low levels of prosocial behavior. Physical aggression was negatively associated with prosocial behavior but not with theory of mind. Each analysis included gender, receptive vocabulary, and the respective other subtype of aggression as control variables. These results did not differ between girls and boys or between twins and singletons. Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
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Relational aggression is a form of aggression in which individuals use relationships as a source of control and a means by which to inflict harm on others. The present research investigated this form of aggression in 363 children from both primary and high schools (157 third and fourth graders, 207 ninth and 10th graders). Participants were classified as relationally aggressive, overtly aggressive, relationally plus overtly aggressive, or non-aggressive on the basis of a peer nomination instrument. A hypothetical situation instrument that assessed attributions of intent and feelings of distress for ambiguous situations was also completed. Gender and age differences in the expression of relational and overt aggression were observed. In contrast with previous research (Crick, 1995), relationally aggressive children did not display a hostile attribution bias or report more upset feelings specific to relational hypothetical situations. Implications for the social information processing model of aggression and future studies of relational aggression are discussed.
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Purpose. The main aim of this research was to investigate the parental styles and personal characteristics of bullies and victims, and to disentangle factors related to bully/victims from factors related to children who were only bullies or only victims. Method. A self-report questionnaire on bullying was completed by 113 girls and 125 boys aged 11–14 years in a middle school in Rome. Results. Over half of all students had bullied others in the previous three months, and nearly half had been victimized. About a quarter of all students were both bullies and victims. Bullies tended to be male and to have low pro-social behaviour, but these were largely characteristics of children who were only bullies. Victims tended to be female and to have low self-esteem, but these were largely characteristics of children who were only victims. Children who were both bullies and victims tended to have authoritarian parents, but these were largely characteristics of bully/victims. Conclusions. It is important to study only bullies, only victims and bully/victims, as well as bullies and victims in general. Personal characteristics were related to only bullies or only victims, whereas parental styles were more related to bully/victims.
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We investigated language development, relational aggression, and relational victimization in ethnically, socioeconomically diverse preschoolers. Relational aggression was positively related to language development. Girls were more relationally aggressive than boys, and higher-socioeconomic status (SES) children were more relationally aggressive and victimized than lower-SES children. Neither gender nor SES conclusively moderated the relation between language and relational aggression, though some findings suggest the possibility of stronger relations among boys and lower-SES children. Teachers agreed on ratings of relational aggression and relational victimization to a moderate extent.
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Past research has shown that peer victimization and school maladjustment are related, but it is unclear whether victimization is a cause or consequence of such difficulties. This study examined whether (a) peer victimization is a precursor of school maladjustment, (b) the effects are limited to the period of victimization, and (c) stable peer victimization experiences compound adjustment difficulties. Toward this end, data were collected on 200 5- and 6-year-old children (105 males, 95 females) in the fall and spring of kindergarten. Findings supported the hypothesis that victimization is a precursor of children's loneliness and school avoidance. Whereas children's feelings of loneliness were more pronounced while victimization was occurring, delayed effects were found for school avoidance. Furthermore, the duration of children's victimization experiences was related to the magnitude of their school adjustment problems.
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Relational aggression, harm through injury or manipulation of a relationship, has become fashionable, particularly in the popular press. Mental health professionals in schools can better serve students when they understand what is known about relational aggression, how it influences social behavior, and how it is related to children's well-being. This article discusses the definition, identification, and consequences of relational aggression. Available intervention programs are introduced, and future directions for research, assessment, and intervention are addressed. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 43: 297–312, 2006.
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Prior studies of childhood aggression have demonstrated that, as a group, boys are more aggressive than girls. We hypothesized that this finding reflects a lack of research on forms of aggression that are relevant to young females rather than an actual gender difference in levels of overall aggressiveness. In the present study, a form of aggression hypothesized to be typical of girls, relational aggression, was assessed with a peer nomination instrument for a sample of 491 third- through sixth-grade children. Overt aggression (i.e., physical and verbal aggression as assessed in past research) and social-psychological adjustment were also assessed. Results provide evidence for the validity and distinctiveness of relational aggression. Further, they indicated that, as predicted, girls were significantly more relationally aggressive than were boys. Results also indicated that relationally aggressive children may be at risk for serious adjustment difficulties (e.g., they were significantly more rejected and reported significantly higher levels of loneliness, depression, and isolation relative to their nonrelationally aggressive peers).
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This study investigated psychiatric symptoms and deviance at the age of 15 years among children involved in bullying at the age of 8 years or at the age of 12 years. Furthermore, the relationships between involvement in bullying at the age of 8 years, concurrent psychiatric deviance, and later psychiatric deviance were studied. Questionnaires filled in by the parents, teachers and children themselves were used to reveal psychiatric symptoms and deviance. Children involved in bullying, in particular those who were bully-victims at early elementary school age and those who were victims in their early teens, had more psychiatric symptoms at the age of 15 years. The probability of being deviant at the age of 15 years was higher among children involved in bullying at the age of 8 or 12 years than among non-involved children. When concurrent psychiatric deviance was taken into account, involvement in bullying increased the probability of teacher-defined deviance at the age of 15 years. Bullying experiences are connected not only to concurrent psychiatric symptoms but also to future psychiatric symptoms. Furthermore, the probability of being deviant in adolescence is increased if the child has been involved in bullying at elementary school age.
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In the present study we examined the relevance of selected personality variables, namely Eysenck's factors of extraversion, psychoticism and neuroticism, and the psychological well being factor of self-esteem to the tendency to bully and to be victimized. Male primary school children (n = 87) with a mean age of 10.9 years completed the Junior Eysenck Personality Inventory and the Coopersmith Self Esteem Inventory. Children's tendency to bully and to be victimized was assessed by means of questionnaire and teacher nomination. As predicted the tendency to bully was found to be significantly associated with psychoticism while the tendency to be victimized was significantly associated with introversion and low self-esteem. The expected association between being victimized and neuroticism was not confirmed.
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We report two studies that examine age differences in pupils' and parents' definitions of the term bullying, and possible reasons for these including the role of specific experiences. Study 1 compared definitions of bullying given by participants in four age groups; 4 to 6 years, 8 years, 14 years and adult. Participants were shown/read 17 different cartoon scenarios and were asked if each constituted an episode of bullying or not. Multidimensional scaling indicated that the groups differed in their definition of bullying. 4- to 6-year-olds and 8-year-olds used 1 dimension, a distinction between aggressive and non-aggressive acts, when differentiating cartoons; 14-year-olds and adults gave a 2-dimensional solution, also distinguishing between physical and non-physical (social/relational or verbal) acts. Study 2 further investigated definitions of bullying given by 99 children aged 4 to 6 years, and the role of experience. Just over half had some understanding of the term, but tended to be less concerned about power differences and repetition of actions. No significant differences in definitions were found between boys and girls, or between children in involved (aggressor, victim or defender) or not involved (bystander) roles; however, aggressors were more likely than other children to say that 11 of the 13 aggressive behaviours were not bullying. These findings are discussed in relation to age related changes in experiences of bullying and cognitive development. Implications for interventions and research are also raised.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the distinct forms (i.e., physical and relational) and functions (i.e., proactive and reactive) of aggressive behavior during early childhood (n = 101; M age = 45.09 months). Forms, but not functions, of aggressive behavior were stable over time. A number of contributors to aggression were associated with distinct subtypes of aggressive behavior. Females and socially dominant children were more relationally aggressive and older children were less physically aggressive than their peers. Longitudinal analyses indicated that social dominance predicted decreases in physical aggression and peer exclusion predicted increases in relational aggression. Overall, the results provide support for the distinction between subtypes of aggression in early childhood.
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Prior studies of childhood aggression have demonstrated that, as a group, boys are more aggressive than girls. We hypothesized that this finding reflects a lack of research on forms of aggression that are relevant to young females rather than an actual gender difference in levels of overall aggressiveness. In the present study, a form of aggression hypothesized to be typical of girls, relational aggression, was assessed with a peer nomination instrument for a sample of 491 third-through sixth-grade children. Overt aggression (i.e., physical and verbal aggression as assessed in past research) and social-psychological adjustment were also assessed. Results provide evidence for the validity and distinctiveness of relational aggression. Further, they indicated that, as predicted, girls were significantly more relationally aggressive than were boys. Results also indicated that relationally aggressive children may be at risk for serious adjustment difficulties (e.g., they were significantly more rejected and reported significantly higher levels of loneliness, depression, and isolation relative to their nonrelationally aggressive peers).
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This study predicted stable social maladjustments of ages 10, 11, and 12 from teacher behavioral ratings in kindergarten and a measure of family demographics. Kindergarten teachers rated 1,034 boys on hyperactivity, aggression, inattention, anxiety-withdrawal, and prosocial behavior. Sociodemographic information was collected from the parents. At ages 10, 11, and 12, teacher, parent, peer, and self-report behavior ratings were collected on 743 boys. School achievement was documented from school records. Boys whose average scores on each of the five behavioral ratings across ages 10, 11, and 12 were above the 90th percentile according to at least two informants were defined as having stable behavioral problems. From teacher ratings collected in kindergarten and family demographics, logistic regression analyses predicted stable social maladjustment. For each negative outcome there was a unique set of predictors. The results are discussed with reference to the early identification of children who are at risk.
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Past research has shown that peer victimization and school maladjustment are related, but it is unclear whether victimization is a cause or consequence of such difficulties. This study examined whether (a) peer victimization is a precursor of school maladjustment, (b) the effects are limited to the period of victimization, and (c) stable peer victimization experiences compound adjustment difficulties. Toward this end, data were collected on 200 5- and 6-year-old children (105 males, 95 females) in the fall and spring of kindergarten. Findings supported the hypothesis that victimization is a precursor of children's loneliness and school avoidance. Whereas children's feelings of loneliness were more pronounced while victimization was occurring, delayed effects were found for school avoidance. Furthermore, the duration of children's victimization experiences was related to the magnitude of their school adjustment problems.
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It has been suggested that the mental health of schoolchildren can be undermined by repeated bullying at school and further exacerbated by having inadequate social support. To evaluate this claim, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was administered anonymously to 845 adolescent schoolchildren attending coeducational secondary schools in South Australia, together with measures of the extent to which each reported being bullied at school and the social support available to them. Multiple regression analyses indicated that for both sexes frequent peer victimization and low social support contributed significantly and independently to relatively poor mental health.
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To examine factors associated with bullying and victimization from age 8 to 16. An 8-year longitudinal study included questions about bullying and victimization at age 8 and 16. Children were evaluated with Rutter scales by parents and teachers and with the Child Depression Inventory filled in by the children at age 8. When the children were at the age of 16 parents filled in the CBCL and adolescents the YSR. About 15% of boys and 7% of girls were bullied and 12% of girls and 13% of boys were victimized at age 16. Both bullying and victimization at age 16 were associated with a wide range of psychological problems at age 8 and 16, and with referral to child mental health services. Bullying at age 8 was associated with bullying at age 16, while victimization at age 8 was associated with victimization 8 years later. Bullying and victimization are often persistent and associated with severe emotional and behavior problems. Preventive efforts should be focused, and targeted at those children who are characterized by both psychological disturbance and bullying.
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Prior research demonstrates that understanding theory of mind (ToM) is seriously and similarly delayed in late-signing deaf children and children with autism. Are these children simply delayed in timing relative to typical children, or do they demonstrate different patterns of development? The current research addressed this question by testing 145 children (ranging from 3 to 13 years) with deafness, autism, or typical development using a ToM scale. Results indicate that all groups followed the same sequence of steps, up to a point, but that children with autism showed an importantly different sequence of understandings (in the later steps of the progression) relative to all other groups.
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A multi-informant study investigated the association between deception capacities and subtypes of aggression in a young early childhood sample (M = 44.65 months of age, SD = 13.39, N = 64). A newly developed teacher report of deception had appropriate psychometric properties (reliability, concurrent validity, and construct validity). Recently introduced observational methods of physical and relational aggression were reliable and valid with this sample. Findings indicated that both physical and relational aggression were associated with concurrent deception. For boys only, physical aggression uniquely predicted deception, controlling for the variance associated with relational aggression. In addition, relational aggression predicted deception above and beyond the role of physical aggression for the entire sample.