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Social behavioural correlates of risk in peer relations : a multimethod assessment of aggressive, withdrawn, and aggressive-withdrawn children

Title:

Social behavioural correlates of risk in peer relations : a multimethod assessment of aggressive, withdrawn, and aggressive-withdrawn children

Marchessault, Keith (1992) Social behavioural correlates of risk in peer relations : a multimethod assessment of aggressive, withdrawn, and aggressive-withdrawn children. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Early failure in peer relations is widely recognized as predictive of maladjustment, and numerous studies have identified social skill deficits as an important factor contributing to difficulties with peers. The present study examined the social behavioural correlates of children (9-11 years old) at risk in peer relations, identified as extreme on the aggression and/or withdrawal factors of the Pupil Evaluation Inventory (PEI; Pekarik et al., 1976). Playground observations revealed social entry profiles (Study 1) for the peer-identified Aggressive group and the Withdrawn group consistent with the groups' extreme ratings on global PEI factors. Withdrawn boys and girls initiated interaction at a relatively low rate, exhibited the least aversive social entry style, and were comparable to an "average" Contrast group on a measure of peer likeability. Aggressive boys and girls exhibited elevated rates of aggressive and inappropriate social entry, but only Aggressive girls were significantly different from the Contrast group in this respect. Aggressive boys were more successful in peer relations than Aggressive girls, possibly due to the degree to which girls' aggression is inconsistent with same-sex normative playground behaviour. In contrast, Aggressive-withdrawn boys and girls exhibited a social entry profile that was not significantly different from Contrast peers, and which failed to account for the group's significantly lower likeability scores. Analysis of peer nominations on individual items of the PEI (Study 2) provided additional information on the Aggressive and Withdrawn groups, and revealed a distinct social profile for the Aggressive-withdrawn children. The PEI item profiles for Withdrawn children were consistent with the observational findings and provided evidence of the self-isolated nature of the group. While aggressive threats were characteristic of Aggressive boys and girls, the Aggressive boys' profile also revealed several "competent" modes of seeking attention which may further account for their success with peers relative to Aggressive girls. Finally, Aggressive-withdrawn boys and girls were clearly characterized by PEI items reflecting immaturity, disruptiveness, and emotional lability, suggesting that low likeability and rejection may follow from the degree to which Aggressive-withdrawn children interfere with group activities. Social behavioural profiles are discussed with respect to the relative risk status of the groups, implications for intervention, and the degree of correspondence between sociometrically and behaviourally defined risk classifications.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Marchessault, Keith
Pagination:xi, 251 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Psychology
Date:1992
Thesis Supervisor(s):Serbin, Lisa A
ID Code:4241
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 15:38
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:37
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