ERIC Number: ED326909
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Peer Persuasion in the Classroom: A Naturalistic Study of Children's Dominance.
Williams, David E.; Schaller, Kristi A.
Two naturalistic studies examined how children attempt to exert dominance over their peers, which tactics are most frequently used, and which appeals are most successful. The first study identified 3 categories of dominance behavior by a 6-week observation of playground interactions of 20 4- and 5-year-old children. The second study, conducted at the same child care center 5 months later to quantify the findings of study one to provide validity to the inductive constructs, coded 78 domineering behaviors, counted the number of behaviors in each category, the sex of the initiator(s) and target(s) and the success ratios. Results confirmed that verbal assertiveness was the most frequently employed domineering strategy of 4- and 5-year-old children, accounting for 72% of dominance behavior. Successful use of verbal assertion was found most frequently when commands were given by assertive children and when males attempted to dominate females. Domination of same-sexed target and female assertiveness over males were successful slightly more than half of the time. Results also revealed that physical assertiveness (12% occurrence) seemed to serve as a successful means for exerting dominance only when a child was able to exhibit athletic superiority. The most significant finding was the ability of some children to use theme plays to exert dominance over their peers (13% occurrence), a strategy used most often by females who feel confident that the target will play along with the scenario and assume the submissive position. (One table containing the coded domination attempts of children is included; 24 references are attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior; Dominant Behavior; Ohio
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (76th, Chicago, IL, November 1-4, 1990).