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ERIC Number: EJ1055237
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1040-9289
Who Is the Tattletale? Linking Individual Differences in Socioemotional Competence and Anxiety to Tattling Behavior and Attitudes in Young Children
Buta, Monica; Leva, Dana Simona; Visu-Petra, Laura
Early Education and Development, v26 n4 p496-519 2015
Although tattling is a common practice among young children, there is little systematic research about its socioemotional correlates. The current study focused on children's tattling between the ages of 5 and 7, assessing both their explicit attitudes toward tattling and their actual reporting of a transgression and relating them to individual differences in socioemotional competence and trait anxiety. Research Findings: About half of the children reported an adult's transgression freely or when generally prompted about the event, whereas the other half either reported only when confronted with a directly incriminatory question or completely concealed the adult's transgression. There was a minor congruence between the actual tattling behavior and children's explicit attitudes toward tattling (obligation to report a major transgression), measured via their reaction to a series of vignettes. A favorable attitude toward tattling was positively related to children's ability to recognize basic emotions and their external causes, yet it was negatively associated with the understanding of more complex components, such as the possibility of hiding an emotion. Moreover, tattling behavior was negatively related to understanding internally (belief-based) generated emotions and positively related to individual levels of anxiety. Practice or Policy: Educational practices should take into account individual differences in children's socioemotional development when relating to their tattling behaviors, preferably decreasing the amount of ambivalence a child experiences in this situation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Romania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A