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ERIC Number: EJ868539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1524-5039
"And Then a Huge, Huge Giant Grabbed Me!" Aggression in Children's Stories
Bacigalupa, Chiara; Wright, Cheryl
Early Childhood Research & Practice, v11 n2 Fall 2009
Children's stories, like children's play, often contain aggressive elements. This research study identified the themes and ideas that children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old included in 290 dictated stories with aggressive elements. Among the stories that contained aggressive elements, 42% were dictated by girls, and 57% were dictated by boys. Although stories dictated by older children (4 to 4.5 years old) were more likely to contain aggression, age did not seem to be a significant factor in the preschooler's interest in telling stories with aggressive content. Quantitative and qualitative analyses indicated that children mostly attributed aggressive acts to fantasy characters, and they set aggressive action within fantasy situations. In addition, children did not usually dwell on the details of the aggressive acts they portrayed. Analysis of these stories suggests that rather than expressing an unhealthy preoccupation with aggression or an alarming indifference to the consequences of aggressive behavior, these young children often showed a remarkable ability to keep aggression within appropriate boundaries and a profound lack of interest in the details of the aggressive acts they referenced. Stories provide opportunities for adults to help children develop an understanding of the consequences of aggressive behavior and to reinforce distinctions between appropriate and inappropriate real-life strategies for dealing with interpersonal conflict. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 51 Gerty Drive, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 877-275-3227; Tel: 217-333-1386; Fax: 217-244-7732; e-mail: ecrp@uiuc.edu; Web site: http://ecrp.uiuc.edu
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A