Play, aggressive conflict and reconciliation in pre-school children: what matters?

in Behaviour
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.

Help

 

Have Institutional Access?

Login with your institution. Any other coaching guidance?

Connect

Play provides children with the opportunity to train in fundamental social skills, including conflict management. Here, we evaluate the management of play, aggressive conflict and reconciliation in 3- to 5-year-old preschool children. 3-year-old children show the highest levels of aggressive conflicts in free play, and do not reconcile their aggressive conflicts in the first months of the preschool year because they still lack social capacities to successfully manage interactions with peers. We found no gender bias in being aggressors or victims, but gender-typed traits were reflected in the expression of aggressiveness in same-sex peers for boys, who rely more on physical contacts than girls. Gender segregation in play is seen only in boys, regardless of age. Our results emphasize the importance of considering play, aggressive conflicts, and reconciliation as a whole, in order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the development of pre- and post-conflict dynamics in humans.

Sections
References
  • AltmannJ. (1974). Observational study of behavior sampling methods. — Behaviour 49: 227-265.

  • AureliF.de WaalF.B.M. (2000). Natural conflict resolution. — University of California PressBerkeley, CA.

  • AureliF.CordsM.Van SchaikC.P. (2002). Conflict resolution following aggression in gregarious animals: a predictive framework. — Anim. Behav. 64: 325-343.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BenensonJ.F.MaieseR.DolenszkyE.DolenskyN.SinclairN.SimpsonA. (2002). Group size regulates self-assertive versus self-deprecating responses to interpersonal competition. — Child Dev. 73: 1818-1829.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BjorkqvistK.LagerspetzK.KaukianenA. (1992). Do girls manipulate and boys fight? Developmental trends in regard to direct and indirect aggression. — Aggr. Behav. 18: 117-127.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BukowskiW.M. (2003). What does it mean to say that aggressive children are competent or incompetent?Merrill-Palmer Q. 49: 390-400.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BurghardtG.M. (2005). The genesis of animal play: testing the limits. — MIT PressCambridge, MA.

  • ButovskayaM.L. (2001). Reconciliation after conflicts: ethological analysis of post-conflict interactions in Kalmyk children. — In: Cross-cultural approaches to aggression and reconciliation ( RamirezJ.RichardsonD. eds). Nova ScienceHuntington, New York p.  167-190.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ButovskayaM.L.KozintsevA. (1999a). Sexual dimorphism and the evolution of gender stereotypes in man: a sociobiological perspective. — In: The Darwinian heritage and sociobiology ( Van der DennenJ.SmillieD.WilsonD. eds). PraegerSanta Barbara, CA p.  261-272.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ButovskayaM.L.KozintsevA. (1999b). Aggression, friendship, and reconciliation in Russian primary school children. — Aggr. Behav. 25: 125-140.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ButovskayaM.L.VerbeekP.LjungbergT.LunardiniA. (2000). Multicultural view of peacemaking among young children. — In: Natural conflict resolution ( AureliF.de WaalF.B.M. eds). University of California PressBerkeley, CA p.  423-450.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ButovskayaM.L.TimentschikV.BurkovaV. (2007). Aggression, conflict resolution, popularity, and attitude to school in Russian adolescents. — Aggr. Behav. 33: 170-183.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ButovskayaM.L.BurkovaV.MabullaA. (2010). Sex differences in 2D: 4D ratio, aggression and conflict resolution in African children and adolescents: a cross-cultural study. — J. Aggr. Confl. Peace Res. 2: 17-31.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CharlesworthW.R. (1996). Co-operation and competition: contributions to an evolutionary and developmental model. — Int. J. Behav. Dev. 19: 25-39.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CordoniG.NorsciaI. (2014). Peace-making in marsupials: the first study in the red-necked wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus). — PLoS ONE 9: e86859.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CordoniG.PalagiE. (2008). Reconciliation in wolves (Canis lupus): new evidence for a comparative perspective. — Ethology 114: 298-308.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CordsM. (1993). On operationally defining reconciliation. — Am. J. Primatol. 29: 255-268.

  • CrickN.R.GrotpeterJ.K. (1995). Relational aggression, gender, and social-psychological adjustment. — Child Dev. 66: 710-722.

  • de WaalF.B.M. (1989). Peacemaking among primates. — Harvard University PressCambridge, MA.

  • de WaalF.B.M.YoshiharaD. (1983). Reconciliation and redirected affection in rhesus monkeys. — Behaviour 85: 224-241.

  • DunbarR.I.M.ShultzS. (2007). Evolution in the social brain. — Science 317: 1344-1347.

  • FagenR. (1993). Primate juveniles and primate play. — In: Juvenile primates ( PereiraM.E.FairbanksL.A. eds). University of Chicago PressChicago, IL p.  182-196.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FujisawaK.K.KutsukakeN.HasegawaT. (2005). Reconciliation pattern after aggression among Japanese preschool children. — Aggr. Behav. 31: 138-152.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FujisawaK.K.KutsukakeN.HasegawaT. (2006). Peacemaking and consolation in Japanese preschoolers witnessing peer aggression. — J. Comp. Psychol. 120: 48-57.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FujisawaK.K.KutsukakeN.HasegawaT. (2008). The stabilizing role of aggressive children in affiliative social networks among pre-schoolers. — Behaviour 145: 1577-1600.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GreenV.A.CillessenA.H. (2008). Achievement versus maintenance of control in six-year-old children’s interactions with peers: an observational study. — Educ. Psychol. 28: 161-180.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GreenV.A.RechisR. (2006). Children’s cooperative and competitive interactions in limited resource situations: a literature review. — Appl. Dev. Psychol. 27: 42-59.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HartupW.W. (1983). Peer relations. — In: Socialization personality and social development ( MussenP.H.HetheringtonE.M. eds). WileyNew York, NY p.  103-196.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HawleyP.H. (2002). Social dominance and prosocial and coercive strategies of resource control in preschoolers. — Int. J. Behav. Dev. 26: 167-176.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HawleyP.H. (2007). Social dominance in childhood and adolescence: why social competence and aggression may go hand in hand. — In: Aggression and adaptation: the bright side to bad behaviour ( HawleyP.H.LittleT.D.RodkinP. eds). Lawrence ErlbaumHillsdale, NJ p.  1-29.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • HowesC. (1987). Social competence with peers in young children: developmental consequences. — Dev. Rev. 7: 252-272.

  • HowesC. (1988). Peer interaction of young children. — Mon. Soc. Res. Child Dev. 53: 1-92.

  • KappelerP.M.van SchaikC.P. (1992). Methodological and evolutionary aspects of reconciliation among primates. — Ethology 92: 51-69.

  • KeltnerD.YoungR.C.BuswellB.N. (1997). Appeasement in human emotion, social practice, and personality. — Aggr. Behav. 23: 359-374.

  • KillenM.NaiglesL.R. (1995). Preschool children pay attention to their addressees: effects of gender composition on peer disputes. — Disc. Proc. 19: 329-346.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KohlbergL. (1966). A cognitive-developmental analysis of children’s sex role concepts and attitudes. — In: The development of sex differences ( MaccobyE.E. ed.). Stanford University PressStanford, CA p.  82-173.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KyratzisA. (2000). Tactical uses of narratives in nursery school same-sex groups. — Disc. Proc. 29: 269-299.

  • La FreniereP.StrayerF.F.GauthierR. (1984). The emergence of same-sex affiliative preferences among preschool peers: a developmental/ethological perspective. — Child Dev. 55: 1958-1965.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LaursenB.HartupW.W.KoplasA.L. (1996). Towards understanding peer conflict. — Merrill-Palmer Q. 1982: 76-102.

  • LeoneA.PalagiE. (2010). Reconciling conflicts in a one-male society: the case of geladas (Theropithecus gelada). — Primates 51: 203-212.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LjungbergT.WestlundK.ForsbergA.J.L. (1999). Conflict resolution in 5-year-old boys. — Anim. Behav. 58: 1007-1016.

  • MaccobyE.E. (1998). The two sexes: growing up apart coming together. — Harvard University PressCambridge, MA.

  • MartinC.L.RubleD.N.SzkrybaloJ. (2002). Cognitive theories of early gender development. — Psychol. Bull. 128: 903-933.

  • MollerL.C.SerbinL.A. (1996). Antecedents of toddler gender segregation: cognitive consonance, gender-typed toy preferences and behavioral compatibility. — Sex Roles 35: 445-460.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • OstermanK.BjorkqvistK.LagerspetzK.KaukiainenA.LandauS.FraczekA.CapraraG. (1998). Cross-cultural evidence of female indirect aggression. — Aggr. Behav. 24: 1-8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • OstrovJ.M.KeatingC.F. (2004). Gender differences in preschool aggression during free play and structured interactions: an observational study. — Soc. Dev. 13: 255-277.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PalagiE.CordoniG. (2012). The right time to happen: play developmental divergence in the two Pan species. — PLoS ONE 7: e52767.

  • PalagiE.BurghardtG.M.SmutsB.CordoniG.Dall’OlioS.FoutsH.N.Řeháková-PetrůM.SiviyS.M.PellisS.M. (2016). Rough-and-tumble play as a window on animal communication. — Biol. Rev. 91: 311-327.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PellegriniA.D. (1995). A longitudinal study of boys’ rough-and-tumble play and dominance during early adolescence. — J. Appl. Dev. Psychol. 16: 77-93.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PellegriniA.D. (2009). The role of play in human development. — Oxford University PressNew York, NY.

  • PellisS.M.PellisV.C. (1998). The play fighting of rats in comparative perspective: a schema for neurobehavioral analyses. — Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 23: 87-101.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PellisS.M.PellisV.C.BellH.C. (2010). The function of play in the development of the social brain. — Am. J. Play 2: 278-296.

  • PowerT.G. (2000). Play and exploration in children and animals. — Lawrence ErlbaumMahwah, NJ.

  • RoseA.J.RudolphK.D. (2006). A review of sex differences in peer relationship processes: potential trade-offs for the emotional and behavioral development of girls and boys. — Psychol. Bull. 132: 98-131.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rose-KrasnorL. (1997). The nature of social competence: a theoretical review. — Soc. Dev. 6: 111-135.

  • RosethC.J.PellegriniA.D.BohnC.M.Van RyzinM.VanceN. (2007). Preschoolers’ aggression, affiliation, and social dominance relationships: an observational, longitudinal study. — J. School Psychol. 45: 479-497.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RosethC.J.PellegriniA.D.DupuisD.N.BohnC.M.HickeyM.C.HilkC.L.PeshkamA. (2011). Preschoolers’ bistrategic resource control, reconciliation, and peer regard. — Soc. Dev. 20: 185-211.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RoyR.BenensonJ.F. (2002). Sex and contextual effects on children’s use of interference competition. — Dev. Psychol. 38: 306-312.

  • RubinK.H.BukowskiW.ParkerJ. (1998). Peer interactions, relationships, and groups. — In: Handbook of child psychology: social emotional and personality development5th edn. ( EisenbergN. ed.). WileyNew York, NY p.  619-700.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SerbinL.A.MollerL.C.GulkoJ.PowlishtaK.K.ColburneK.A. (1994). The emergence of gender segregation in toddler playgroups. — In: Childhood gender segregation: causes and consequences ( LeaperC. ed.). Jossey-BassSan Francisco, CA p.  7-17.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShantzC.U.HartupW.W. (1992). Conflict and development: an introduction. — In: Conflict in child and adolescent development ( ShantzC.U.HartupW.W. eds). Cambridge University PressCambridge p.  1-11.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ShantzC.U.HobartC.J. (1989). Social conflict and development: peers and siblings. — In: Peer relationships in child development ( BerndtT.J. ed.). John Wiley & SonsOxford, England p.  71-94.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SheldonA. (1990). Pickle fights: gendered talk in preschool disputes. — Disc. Proc. 13: 5-31.

  • SmithP.K. (1997). Play fighting and real fighting. Perspectives on their relationship. — In: New aspects of human ethology ( SchmittA.AtzwangerK.GrammerK.SchäferK. eds). Plenum PressNew York, NY p.  47-64.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ŠpinkaM.NewberryR.C.BekoffM. (2001). Play: training for the unexpected. — Q. Rev. Biol. 76: 141-168.

  • StrayerF.F.NoelJ.M. (1986). Triadic conflict among young children: an ethological study of prosocial and antisocial aggression. — In: Altruism and aggression: social and sociological origin ( Zahn-WaxlerC. ed.). Cambridge University PressNew York, NY p.  107-134.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SuttonJ.SmithP. (1999). Bullying as a group process: an adaptation of participant role approach. — Aggr. Behav. 25: 97-112.

  • SvetlovaM.NicholsS.R.BrownellC.A. (2010). Toddlers’ prosocial behavior: from instrumental to empathic to altruistic helping. — Child Dev. 81: 1814-1827.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SymondsM.R.E.MoussalliA. (2011). A brief guide to model selection, multimodel inference and model averaging in behavioural ecology using Akaike’s information criterion. — Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 65: 13-21.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TuckmanB.W. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. — Psychol. Bull. 63: 384-399.

  • TuckmanB.W.JensenM.A.C. (1977). Stages of small group development revisited. — Group Organ. Stud. 2: 419-427.

  • VaughnB.E.WatersE. (1981). Attention structure, sociometric status, and dominance: interrelations, behavioral correlates, and relationships to social competence. — Dev. Psychol. 17: 275-288.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • VerbeekP. (2008). Peace ethology. — Behaviour 145: 1497-1524.

  • VerbeekP.de WaalF.B.M. (2001). Peacemaking among preschool children. — J. Peace Psychol. 7: 5-28.

  • VerbeekP.HartupW.W.CollinsW.A. (2000). Conflict management in children and adolescents. — In: Natural conflict resolution ( AureliF.de WaalF.B.M. eds). University of California PressBerkeley, CA p.  34-35.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WeinsteinE.A. (1969). The development of interpersonal competence. — In: Handbook of socialization theory and research ( GoslinD.A. ed.). Rand-McNallyChicago, IL p.  753-775.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Figures
  • View in gallery

    Comparison of aggressive conflict hourly frequencies across the two age-classes considered (younger and older children) both during free play and guided activity.

  • View in gallery

    Hourly frequencies of aggressive conflicts across the four months of observation in younger (a) and older (b) children.

  • View in gallery

    Hourly frequency of play (a) and aggressive conflicts (b) distribution according to the gender of the subjects involved in both younger and older children (m = male; f = female).

Index Card
Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 153 144 12
Full Text Views 246 244 3
PDF Downloads 27 27 3
EPUB Downloads 2 2 0