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The correlates and predictors of physical and relational aggression in 50 young children (ages 3 to 6) were examined. Specifically, the links between aggression and social-information processing, affective-perspective taking, and language skill were explored. Social-information processing skills were assessed by presenting children with ambiguous situations and asking them to infer the intent of the character in the story and to say what they would do if they were in that situation. Physical aggression was positively linked to hostile attributions for ambiguous physical situations and aggressive responses to ambiguous situations and was negatively linked with pragmatic language skills. Relational aggression was linked with affective-perspective taking skills and with choosing to involve an adult in an ambiguous situation. Affective-perspective taking was found to play an important mediating role in the links between age, social-information processing, and aggression. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed and suggestions for future research are made.
O'Neil, Sara Eileen, "“I would crush his head:” Predicting young children's physical and relational aggression from their social-information processing, affective-perspective taking and language skills" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 7895.