ERIC Number: EJ812852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
Understanding Solitude: Young Children's Attitudes and Responses toward Hypothetical Socially Withdrawn Peers
Coplan, Robert J.; Girardi, Alberta; Findlay, Leanne C.; Frohlick, Sherri L.
Social Development, v16 n3 p390-409 Aug 2007
The goal of the present study was to explore young children's attitudes and responses to different forms of social withdrawal by eliciting responses to hypothetical vignettes. Participants included 137 children (49 boys, 88 girls) in kindergarten and grade 1 classes (M[subscript age] = 75.94 months, SD = 9.03) in Ottawa, Canada. Parents rated child characteristics, including shyness, unsociability and aggression. Children were also interviewed individually and presented with a series of hypothetical vignettes describing the behaviors of "shy, unsociable, aggressive" and "socially competent" children. In response to each vignette, children were asked a series of questions designed to assess their perceptions, attitudes and responses toward each child behavior. Results suggested that young children made surprisingly sophisticated distinctions between shyness and unsociability, demonstrating differences in terms of attributions of behavioral intent, liking and sympathetic responses. In addition, unsociable children evidenced a distinct pattern of responses to hypothetical peers. These findings add to the growing body of research distinguishing different forms of social withdrawal, and shed some light as to why unsociability in early childhood may not be so "benign."
Descriptors: Shyness, Young Children, Child Behavior, Foreign Countries, Grade 1, Psychological Patterns, Attitude Measures, Interpersonal Competence, Kindergarten, Elementary School Students, Antisocial Behavior, Intention, Emotional Response, Peer Relationship, Withdrawal (Psychology), Social Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada