ERIC Number: ED475382
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Opposition in Social Interaction between Children: Intellectual Benefit or Social Cost?
Howe, Christine J.
Occasions where children oppose each other have been viewed as promoting intellectual development through their association with "transactive" dialogue. Yet such occasions have also been regarded as causing problems for social relations through their association with aggression. Although it is inconceivable that the intellectual and social consequences of opposition are themselves inter-related, existing research provides little basis for differentiation. All that is known is that aggression during opposition is related to gender and temperament. Whether transactive dialogue during opposition can be separated from aggression, and whether gender and temperament provide a basis for doing this remain to be seen. This study was designed to explore these issues in depth. The study focused on the videotaped interaction during free play and structured tasks of 49 triads comprising children ages 4 and 5 years, or 6 and 7 years. The children varied in gender and temperament (as ascertained from parental response scales), and the triads varied in gender composition (with sociometric status controlled). Consistent with other research, transactive dialogue and aggression were found to be relatively frequent during opposition. Nevertheless, they could be clearly separated within oppositional contexts, with age, temperament, gender, and triad gender composition all relevant to the form of opposition that occurred. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)