ERIC Number: ED393577
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct-12
Reference Count: N/A
Peer Disputes among Preschoolers: Issues and Strategies.
Conflicts are essential for the development and socialization of preschool children and can benefit children even if they are not resolved. This study explored the events that precipitate disputes among preschool children and the strategies they use to resolve those disputes. Research was conducted at a nursery school with 24 children, ages 3-5 years. The children were observed 1 or 2 times a week for 4 months. Unstructured interviews with three parents were also conducted. Peer disputes were found to stem from two types of issues: conflicts of interest and unwanted physical contact. Conflicts of interest occurred when two or more children wanted the same "thing," whether that thing was a toy, territory, turn-taking, or attention. Unwanted physical contact included negative contact such as hitting, or positive contact such as kissing. The four strategies for resolving or ceasing opposition included assertion, conciliation, third-party intervention and disengagement. The children showed assertion through verbalizing, claiming entitlement, or appealing to rules. Conciliation attempts included submitting, apologizing, compensating, and compromising. Third-party interventions usually involved an adult who made suggestions for resolving the conflict. Disengagement strategies included walking or pushing away, verbally refusing to engage in a dispute, ignoring the provocation or censoring opinions to prevent a dispute. Results of the study showed that preschoolers' capabilities for dealing with disputes in creative, imaginative and anticipatory ways have been underestimated. (JA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Strategies; Conflict Management
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 12, 1995).