Children's Attributions of Intent as They Relate to Peer Social Behavior

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Title: Children's Attributions of Intent as They Relate to Peer Social Behavior
Author: Grant, Raven
Advisors: Marcia Bingham, PhD, Committee Member
Mary Haskett, PhD, Committee Chair
Ann Schulte, PhD, Committee Member
Abstract: The primary purpose of this study was to further examine childhood aggression as it relates to the social cognitive process of social cue interpretation and peer interactions by replicating previous studies that have examined children's attributions of intent and their subsequent behavioral responses and also by expanding on previous studies by examining possible gender and age group differences in social information processing. Participants were a sub-sample of 98 children selected from a community sample of self-nominated families in a university project, 'Parents and Children Together' (PACT). Findings indicated a link between hostile attributions and aggressive responses when these two constructs were measured at the same point in time using hypothetical situations. However, when the measures of social behavior followed the measure of hostile attributions by at least six months, it appeared that social behavior was unrelated to attributions of peer intent. With regard to gender differences, differences were found in observed aggression on the playground where boys engaged in significantly more aggressive behaviors than girls. No gender differences were found in children's intended aggression as measured by hypothetical peer problem situations or in the type of aggression (overt vs. relational), as reported by teachers. Age group differences were not found in the link between younger (5-6 year olds) and older (7-9 year olds) children's beliefs about their peer's intentions and their social behavior.
Date: 2003-09-09
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology

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