ERIC Number: ED371290
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Linkages between Aggression and Children's Legitimacy of Aggression Beliefs.
Erdley, Cynthia A.; Asher, Steven R.
To determine whether Slaby and Guerra's (1988) measure of aggression would reliably assess younger children's belief about aggression and whether children's belief about the legitimacy of aggression relates to their self-reports of it and to their levels of aggression as evaluated by peers, 781 fourth and fifth graders were asked to complete an adapted questionnaire assessing their beliefs about the legitimacy of aggression. Children also viewed a series of hypothetical ambiguous provocation vignettes and answered questions about the situations. Two to three months afterwards, peer evaluations of children's aggressive, withdrawn, and prosocial behaviors were obtained. The children were then classified as low, medium, or high in their endorsement of the legitimacy of aggression. The high-legitimacy group was consistently more aggressive than the average-legitimacy group, which was more aggressive than the low-legitimacy group. Peers evaluated high-legitimacy children as most aggressive, average-legitimacy ones as less, and low-legitimacy children as least aggressive. High-legitimacy children were significantly less likely to choose withdrawal or prosocial acts as their most likely response to provocation. The adapted legitimacy of aggression questionnaire provides a reliable instrument for measuring children's thoughts about aggression, and beliefs about the legitimacy of aggression are significantly related to behavior. (MSF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (101st, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 20-24, 1993).