Title

Relations Between Preschool Aggression and Mother-Child Interactional Synchrony

Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Menna, Rosanne (Psychology)

Keywords

Psychology, Behavioral.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The present study examined the relation between the quality of parent-child interactions and physical and relational aggression in preschoolers. Participants were 73 preschool-aged children (3-6 years; 44 males, 29 females) and their mothers. Aggression was assessed through questionnaires completed by the children's teachers/caregivers and mothers. Mother-child dyads engaged in a videotaped free play task and a structured teaching task that were later coded for interactional synchrony. Regression analyses showed that the level of interactional synchrony in the free play task significantly predicted children's parent-rated physical aggression levels, with lower levels of synchrony predicting more aggression. Follow-up analyses revealed that when the sample was divided by age, the link between interactional synchrony and aggression differed between age groups. Findings also revealed that interactional synchrony levels differed between unstructured and structured tasks. Findings are discussed in the context of the development of intervention and prevention programs.

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