ERIC Number: ED238581
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Children's Emotional Attributions to Themselves and Others: A Measure of Children's Defensiveness.
Brody, Leslie R.
Three studies explored age, sex, and individual differences in children's defensiveness about four feelings: happiness, anger, sadness, and fear. Also investigated was the relation between children's defensiveness and their mothers' comfort with and expression of feelings. Participants included children ranging in age from 4 through 11 years of age and their mothers. The primary measure used to assess defensiveness was the quality and intensity of children's emotional attributions toward themselves and others as story protagonists. In the second study, two additional measures were used: a self-report scale indicating children's tendencies to deny commonly experienced socially undesirable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and a scale with which mothers rated children's defensiveness. In the third study, mothers additionally completed a self-report measure of emotional styles. Results of the first study provided evidence of defensiveness among 7-, 9-, and 11-year-old children. The second study provided additional evidence that, even at the ages of 4 and 6 years, children behave defensively. Age and sex differences were found to emerge on the emotional attribution task but not on the social desirability scale or parent rating form. Results of the second study also suggested that, within age groups, children may vary individiually in their defensive styles. Preliminary results of the third study indicated that mothers who are not comfortable with their own feelings may promote defensiveness in their children. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Childrens Defensive Behavior Scale; Childrens Social Desirability Scale; Defensiveness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).