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Social Interactions, Age and Aggression: Negative Behaviors in Preschoolers. Aggie Wong Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco CA aggiew@mail.sfsu.edu. Introduction

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Social Interactions, Age and Aggression: Negative Behaviors in Preschoolers

Aggie Wong

Department of Psychology, San Francisco State University,

San Francisco CA aggiew@mail.sfsu.edu

  • Introduction
  • Direct observation of children has been used a great deal in observing the relationships of children to their peers.
  • Social competence is the ability to interact appropriately with others, while emotional competence is characterized by the ability to identify and label feelings correctly (Izard, Fine, Schultz, Mostow, Ackerman, & Youngstrom, 2001).
  • Children with behavior problems, as well as those who are socially withdrawn, are known to have difficulty interacting, engaging, and taking instruction, which hinders their ability to learn (Buhs, Ladd, & Herald, 2006).
  • Aggressive behaviors by children are more prominent when children feel more at ease in their environment (Pellegrini & Bartini, 2000).
  • Method
  • N=18, 38 months to 59 months, (M = 45.83, SD = 5.85).  
  • 30-minute running record (ten 3-minute observations):
  • Passivity: smiles/laughter, agreeable, constructive
  • Aggression: hitting, yelling, or defiance
  • Grouped into younger/older children for analysis.
  • Results
  • The mean differences between the younger group and the older group in percentages of negative initiations by child to other children was 2.1%
  • Age was positively correlated with percentage of negative initiations by child to children, r = 0.482, n = 18, p = 0.043.
  • Discussion
  • Increases in age were correlated with increases in aggressive behaviors.
  • As children are more familiar with their surroundings, they may display more aggressive behaviors.
  • Is there a critical age where children will display more overt aggressive behaviors?

Figure

References

Izard, C., Fine, S., Schultz, D., Mostow, A., Ackerman, B., & Youngstrom, E. (2001).Emotion knowledge as a predictor of social behavior and academic competence in

children at risk. Psychological Science, 12(1), 18-23.

Buhs, E., Ladd, G., & Herald, S. (2006). Peer exclusion and victimization: Processes that mediate the relation between peer group rejection and children’s classroom engagement and achievement? Journal of Education Psychology, 98(1), 1-13.

Pellegrini, A. D., & Bartini, M. (2000). A longitudinal study of bullying, victimization, and peer affiliation during the transition from primary school to middle school. American Educational Research Journal, 37(3), 699-725. doi:10.2307/1163486)

Figure 1: Younger (n=8): 38 – 48 months. Older (n=10): 49 – 59 months.

Acknowledgements

Research Question

Will older children display more aggressive behaviors compared to their younger counterparts?

Thank you to theFamily Interaction Research Lab (FAIR)

and all of the parents and children that participated in this study.