Matching Items (8)

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Developmental changes in anxiety and social competence in early childhood: exploring growth and the roles of child temperament and gender

Description

This dissertation examined how anxiety levels and social competence change across the course of early elementary school, as well as how individual differences at the transition to kindergarten may influence

This dissertation examined how anxiety levels and social competence change across the course of early elementary school, as well as how individual differences at the transition to kindergarten may influence these trajectories. Previous research has supported unidirectional relations among anxiety and social competence, but few studies explore how inter- and intra-individual changes in social competence and anxiety may be related across time. From a developmental perspective, studying these trajectories following the transition to kindergarten is important, as cognitive and emotion regulation capacities increase markedly across kindergarten, and the relative success with which children navigate this transition can have a bearing on future social and emotional functioning across elementary school. In addition, given gender differences in anxiety manifestation and social competence development broadly, gender differences were also examined in an exploratory manner. Data from parent and teacher reports of a community sample of 291 children across kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades were analyzed. Results from bivariate growth models revealed steeper increases in anxiety, relative to peers in the sample, were associated with steeper decreases in social competence across time. This finding held after controlling for externalizing behavior problems at each time point, which suggests that relations among anxiety and social competence may be independent of other behavior problems commonly associated with poor social adjustment. Temperament variables were associated with changes in social competence, such that purportedly "risky" temperament traits of higher negative emotionality and lower attention control were associated with concurrently lower social competence in kindergarten, but with relatively steeper increases in social competence across time. Temperament variables in kindergarten were unrelated with changes in anxiety across time. Gender differences in relations among anxiety in kindergarten and growth in social competence also were revealed. Findings for teacher and parent reports of child behavior varied. Results are discussed with respect to contexts that may drive differences between parent and teacher reports of child behavior, as well as key developmental considerations that may help to explain why kindergarten temperament variables examined herein appear to predict changes in social competence but not changes in anxiety levels.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Aggression, victimization, and social prominence in early adolescent girls and boys

Description

Although aggression is sometimes thought to be maladaptive, evolutionary theories of resource control and dominance posit that aggression may be used to gain and maintain high social prominence within the

Although aggression is sometimes thought to be maladaptive, evolutionary theories of resource control and dominance posit that aggression may be used to gain and maintain high social prominence within the peer group. The success of using aggression to increase social prominence may depend on the form of aggression used (relational versus physical), the gender of the aggressor, and the prominence of the victim. Thus, the current study examined the associations between aggression and victimization and social prominence. In addition, the current study extended previous research by examining multiple forms of aggression and victimization and conceptualizing and measuring social prominence using social network analysis. Participants were 339 6th grade students from ethnically diverse backgrounds (50.4% girls). Participants completed a peer nomination measure assessing relational and physical aggression and victimization. They also nominated friends within their grade, which were used to calculate three indices of social prominence, using social network analysis. As expected, results indicated that relational aggression was associated with higher social prominence, particularly for girls, whereas physical aggression was less robustly associated with social prominence. Results for victimization were less clear, but suggested that, for girls, those at mid-levels of social prominence were most highly victimized. For boys, results indicated that those both high and low in prominence were most highly relationally victimized, and those at mid-levels of prominence were most highly physically victimized. These findings help inform intervention work focused on decreasing overall levels of aggressive behavior.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Exploring developmental patterns and predictors of gender-based relationship efficacy

Description

Segregation into own-gender peer groups, a common developmental pattern, has many potentially negative short- and long-term consequences. Understanding the social cognitive processes underlying intergroup processes may lead to a better

Segregation into own-gender peer groups, a common developmental pattern, has many potentially negative short- and long-term consequences. Understanding the social cognitive processes underlying intergroup processes may lead to a better understanding of, and a chance to improve, intergroup relations between boys and girls; however, until recently gender-typed cognitions have not received a lot of attention. Therefore, in two complementary studies, this dissertation examines developmental patterns and predictors of a particular type of social cognition, gender-based relationship efficacy (GBRE). The first study examines mean-level and interindividual stability patterns of GBRE longitudinally in two developmental periods: childhood and pre-adolescence. Specifically, the first study examined children’s and pre-adolescents’ GBRE toward own- (GBRE-Own) and other-gender (GBRE-Other) peers over a one-year period. Using a four factor repeated measures analysis of variance, the results indicated that GBRE-Own is significantly higher than GBRE-Other across both cohorts. GBRE-Other, however, increased from childhood to pre-adolescence. Stability and cross-lag effects were examined using a multi-group panel analysis and revealed that GBRE-Own and GBRE-Other were stable. Additionally, high levels of GBRE-Own led to lower levels of GBRE-Other one year later, but high levels of GBRE-Other led to higher levels of GBRE-Own. Implications for understanding segregation processes and suggestions for future research are discussed.

The second study examined potential affective/cognitive, behavioral, and contextual predictors of GBRE-Other in pre-adolescence. Several hypotheses were tested using panel models and regression analyses, but there was limited support. Results indicated that GBRE-Other predicted more positive attitudes toward other-gender peers and higher preferences for other-gender peer interaction and that, for boys, anxious attitudes toward other-gender peers negatively predicted GBRE-Other and, for girls, parental attitudes toward their children’s other-gender friendships negatively predicted GBRE-Other. The lack of significant findings in the second study should be interpreted cautiously. In general, GBRE is an important construct and more research is needed to fully understand the developmental progression and implications.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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The correlates and consequences of tomboyism: an exploration of gender-related characteristics, peer interactions, and psychosocial adjustment

Description

The study of tomboys offers useful insights for the field of gender development. Tomboys have been the focus of several studies aimed at defining what a tomboy is (Bailey, Bechtold,

The study of tomboys offers useful insights for the field of gender development. Tomboys have been the focus of several studies aimed at defining what a tomboy is (Bailey, Bechtold, & Berenbaum, 2002; Plumb & Cowan, 1984; Williams, Goodman, & Green, 1985) and what it means for children and adults who are tomboys (Morgan, 1998; Williams et al., 1985). These and further questions necessitate understanding the correlates and consequences for children exhibiting tomboy behaviors. This study aims to address these gaps in the literature as part of a longitudinal study assessing children's gendered attitudes, relationships, and beliefs. A group of 4th grade girls (N=98), were administered questionnaires asking them about their tomboy gender identity and related behaviors and beliefs. The first research question concerns how we identify tomboys through parent, teacher, and child self-report, and the application of groupings of tomboys as never, sometimes, and always tomboys. It was found that children who fall into different classifications of tomboyism differ on their similarity to own- and other-sex peers on a number of dimensions (e.g. similarity, peer preference, activity preference). Never tomboys had the most similarity and interest to own-sex peers, always tomboys, to other-sex peers, and sometimes tomboys exhibited the most flexibility with interest similar to both own- and other-sex peers. Peer-related adjustment consequences and experiences were considered for the different groups of tomboys, with always tomboys being the most efficacious with other-sex peers, never tomboys being the most efficacious with own-sex peers, and sometimes tomboys showing both own- and other-sex peer interactions and the least exclusion of any group.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Risk and protective factors of peer victimization: the role of preschoolers' affiliations with peers

Description

Studies of peer victimization typically focus on behavioral characteristics of the victims, and frequently overlook the role that peers may play. The current study extended previous research by examining how

Studies of peer victimization typically focus on behavioral characteristics of the victims, and frequently overlook the role that peers may play. The current study extended previous research by examining how time spent with two types of peers (externalizing and socially competent) can serve as a risk or protective factor for preschoolers' victimization, and how victimization may differ for boys and girls. In addition, the study explored how affiliating with same-sex and other-sex externalizing and socially competent peers may differentially relate to victimization. Results showed that girls who affiliated with externalizing female peers were significantly more at risk for victimization. In addition, boys and girls who spent time with socially competent male peers (but not female peers) negatively predicted victimization. The results indicate that children's peers, in certain circumstances, may play an important role in victimization. These findings also highlight the importance of considering children's and peers' gender when studying peer processes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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The magic of Room 24: searching for the source of magic that occurs when first graders share experiences with children who have severe disabilities

Description

This visually rich qualitative teacher-action research focuses on the personal learning experience a classroom of first grade students had as they grew in understanding of difference through daily interactions with

This visually rich qualitative teacher-action research focuses on the personal learning experience a classroom of first grade students had as they grew in understanding of difference through daily interactions with young friends who have severe disabilities. Each first grader spent 30 minutes, one day a week, visiting the special education classroom down the hall, which was home to their friends who needed total care and spent a majority of their day in a wheelchair.

During these visits, the first graders enjoyed interacting with their friends using a variety of manipulatives, music, movement, games, books, and art. This experience was loosely supervised by the special education teacher after students were given instructions on stations and activities available that day. Upon returning to their classroom, the students reflected on the experience. Reflection for the first few weeks was through oral discussion to build a community feel and common language. Written reflections were later kept in student-created journals.

Though this experience began in the fall, data for this exploration was collected during the Spring semester of the 2013-2014 school year. The following questions guided the design and implementation of this study: 1) How do children make sense of their interactions with children who have severe disabilities, and what do their words reveal regarding their understandings about and across difference?

2) What do interactions between students “look like,” and what can “doing” reveal about human interactions?

Data collection and analysis were informed through a critical, ethnographic-like lens with a participant perspective from the teacher-researcher. Photos and video documentation focused on the hands and feet of the participants to ensure privacy rights. Interviews, journal entries, photo elicitation, and a focus group discussion provided the remainder of the data set after parental permission and participant assent.

Findings are shared visually with an invitation to enter a child’s lifeworld via their voice, both written and verbal. Readers are asked to ponder the evidence through the shared voice and visions and consider the impact of the affective realm on learning and understanding and its significance in all of human interactions—all the selves and all the others.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Children's appraisals as a mediating factor in the relation between interparental conflict and child adjustment

Description

This study examined the mediating role of children's self-reported appraisals in the relation between interparental conflict intensity and child adjustment. Both parent-reported and child-reported conflict intensity were used as predictor

This study examined the mediating role of children's self-reported appraisals in the relation between interparental conflict intensity and child adjustment. Both parent-reported and child-reported conflict intensity were used as predictor variables. Findings suggested that children's total appraisals mediated the relationship between child-reported conflict intensity and all four outcome variables (conduct disorder, depression, anxiety, and total adjustment). Additionally, children's appraisals of negative evaluation by others mediated the relationship between child-reported conflict intensity and depression, and both rejection and negative evaluation by others mediated the relationship between child-reported conflict intensity and anxiety. Only one mediational relationship was established when assessing conflict intensity through parent report, with children's appraisals of harm to others mediating the relationship between parent-reported conflict intensity and anxiety. Findings from this study outline the importance of assessing conflict and appraisals from the child's perspective as results indicated a higher level of mediating effects of child appraisals in the relation between conflict and child outcomes when assessing conflict from the child's perspective.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Interpersonal skills of gifted students: risk versus resilience

Description

The population of intellectually gifted youth encompasses a wide range of abilities, talents, temperaments, and personality characteristics. Although generalizations are often made outside of the empirical literature regarding the interpersonal

The population of intellectually gifted youth encompasses a wide range of abilities, talents, temperaments, and personality characteristics. Although generalizations are often made outside of the empirical literature regarding the interpersonal skills of these children, much remains to be understood about their social behavior. The aim of this study was to examine the within-group differences of gifted children, and it was hypothesized that subgroups of the gifted population would differ from each other in terms of interpersonal skill development. Gifted education teachers within a large K-12 public school district in the Southwestern United States completed the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) regarding the social-emotional competence of 206 elementary and middle school students classified as gifted. Correlational analyses and factorial analysis of variance were conducted to compare interpersonal skills (as measured by DESSA ratings) and students' level of giftedness, area of identification as gifted, gender, and age. Results indicated that interpersonal skills were significantly related to gender, area of identification, and level of giftedness. Female children were described as having significantly higher levels of interpersonal skills overall, and children identified as gifted with both nonverbal and quantitative measures exhibited significantly higher levels of interpersonal skills than those identified with verbal or nonverbal measures alone. Significant correlations were also observed between the level of children's estimated gifted abilities and their interpersonal skills. Trends in the data suggested that as children's cognitive abilities increased, their interpersonal skills also increased, placing profoundly gifted children at social advantages over their moderately gifted peers. However, it was also noted that although the two variables were significantly related, they were not commensurate. While children presented with above-average cognitive abilities, their interpersonal skills were within the average range. This suggests that gifted children may benefit from interventions that target interpersonal skill development, in an effort to bring their social skills more in line with their cognitive abilities.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012