School of Education
emotion knowledge, relational aggression, preschoolers, peer rejection
The preschool years are an important time in a child's emotional development. Children learn how to navigate peer relationships and understand the source of others' emotions, one of the most important tasks of this developmental period. Deficits in emotion knowledge have been linked with increased aggressive behaviors and poor peer acceptance. This study's main objective was to clarify whether emotion knowledge is related to relational aggression in young children. In addition, the role of age, sex, siblings, depressed affect, and peer acceptance and rejection was examined in the context of relational aggression. Sixty-six preschool children from ages 3 to 4 were administered Denham's Affective Knowledge Test (DAKT; Denham, 1986), and both preschool teachers and children completed the Preschool Social Behavior Scale-Teacher and Peer Forms (PSBS-T; PSBS-P; Crick et al., 1997) to assess relationally-aggressive behaviors. Results of the study indicated that four-year-old children engage in more relationally-aggressive behaviors as rated by teachers than three-year-old children. In addition, relationally-aggressive preschool boys experience significantly less peer rejection than non-relationally-aggressive preschool boys. Several additional findings involving emotion knowledge, depressed affect, and peer acceptance and rejection approached significant levels.
Morine, K. (2009). Emotion Knowledge and Relational Aggression in Preschoolers (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/947