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ERIC Number: ED408028
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Interpersonal Defense: School-Aged Children's Understanding of the Effects of Conflict and Feed Forward Consequences.
Westerman, Michael A.; And Others
This study used an interpersonal model of defense to examine children's understanding of how defense affects ongoing interactions. Participating were 62 New York City public school children, ages 7 to 8 years and 10 to 11 years, who were identified as intellectually gifted. Students were asked to respond to structured questions about interpersonal interactions with a teacher or a peer presented in a storyboard format in either high- or low-conflict versions, with defensive responses operationalized as an unmarked shift in topic or an unmarked negation of a prior statement. The results indicated that older participants, but not younger subjects, anticipated greater defensiveness in high-conflict situations. There was considerable support for hypotheses about children's understanding of how defense affects ongoing interactions. Nondefensive responses were viewed as more likely than defensive statements to lead to both wished-for and feared interaction consequences. No significant relations were found between teacher reported assessments of participants' behavior problems and the measure of their understanding of interpersonal defense. Overall, the findings suggested that bright school-age children have an understanding of the functional role played by defensive behavior in interpersonal interactions. (Appendices contain the stories used in the assessment.) (Author/KDFB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A