Teacher and peer responsivity to pro-social behaviour of high aggressors in preschool

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Naturally occurring aggressive and pro-social behaviour among 12 preschool children was examined in relation to teacher and peer responsiveness. A standardized real-time direct observational protocol was used in the context of a repeated measures design to measure the frequency and sequences of aggressive and pro-social behaviour of target children. Teacher and peer responses to target children's pro-social and aggressive behaviour were also measured. Based on the summary-level analysis of the frequency data, children were categorized as high and low aggressors. Based on the sequential-level analysis, teachers were more likely to respond to the pro-social behaviour of low rather than high aggressors. Peers were equally likely to respond to pro-social behaviour from target children in either category. These results indicate that early aggressive behaviour in a preschool context may negatively influence the likelihood of positive social exchanges with teachers and suggest the importance teacher response may have in relation to early aggression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-231
Number of pages9
JournalEducational Psychology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
*Corresponding author. Department of Educational Psychology, Burton Hall 178 Pillsbury Drive SE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. This research was supported, in part, by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota and a McKnight Professorship to Frank Symons. Email: jmccomas@umn.edu


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