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Why Do Children Transgress Against Others? Mother’s Attributions for Children’s and Adolescents’ Harmful Behaviors with Friends and Siblings

Title:

Why Do Children Transgress Against Others? Mother’s Attributions for Children’s and Adolescents’ Harmful Behaviors with Friends and Siblings

Casola, Cristina (2018) Why Do Children Transgress Against Others? Mother’s Attributions for Children’s and Adolescents’ Harmful Behaviors with Friends and Siblings. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This study investigated mothers’ attributions for children’s and adolescent’s transgressions towards their friends and younger siblings. Specifically, we examined (1) the types of attributions mothers make for their child’s harming behavior at different ages, (2) the types of attributions mothers make for children’s harming behavior across two relationship contexts (sibling and friend), and (3) if age-related changes in attributions about hurting friends are similar to, or different from, age-related changes in attributions about hurting siblings. A total of 101 children and adolescents were privately asked to nominate a time when they hurt or upset their younger sibling and friend (order counterbalanced). After the mothers and children conversed about these specific events, the mothers were privately asked a series of follow-up questions about their interpretations of these harming instances. Results indicated that mothers made different attributions in response to their children’s transgressions against their friends and siblings. Mothers more frequently made attributions of agent causality, intentional behavior, intentional harm, provocation (externality), stable relationship history, and consistent behavior when discussing conflicts with siblings. In contrast, when discussing conflicts with friends, mothers more frequently made attributions of externality (peer-related influences), event specificity, and unintentional harm. Unexpectedly, there were no significant main effects of the child’s age on mothers’ attributions. Overall, the findings elucidate how parents’ interpretations are situated within children’s distinctive relationship contexts (siblings and friends). Implications for parenting and child socialization are discussed.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Casola, Cristina
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Child Studies
Date:December 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Recchia, Holly E.
ID Code:983385
Deposited By: CRISTINA CASOLA
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 01:10
Last Modified:11 Jun 2018 01:10
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